Friday, 20 January 2012

New key staff join the LMS project team

I'm delighted to announce that PLS has appointed Jo-Anne Rivers to the role of Technical Lead for the LMS project.  Jo-Anne comes to us from LMS vendor Ex Libris where over the last 6 years she has worked as an LMS support librarian, a System Implementation project manager and a Sales Manager.  She has also worked in various library sectors including Public, State and TAFE libraries and has professional qualifications in Librarianship, Project Management and Management.

Jo-Anne's depth of knowledge and experience will be welcome additions to the team.  Jo-Anne will commence working at PLS on 13 February.  She will work closely with several professional project managers to lead libraries through their conversion and implementation of the new system.

We're also pleased to announce that James Kemperman has joined the LMS project team, taking a lead in understanding and exploiting the various "non-core" LMS products.  This will include the discovery layer Enterprise, the digital asset management product Portfolio, the Syndetics data feed, and other 3rd party products that are currently under consideration. James will also take responsibility for interfaces between the LMS and other products such as self-check and PC booking systems.

James joins the team with a strong background in IT, which has been strengthened by working within the public library network over the last few years.  James drove the development of the original technical specification which formed part of our LMS tender documents, as well as managing the development of the RFID Interoperability specification and the development of the Library IT Group and overseeing the "3rd party product" evaluation group.

I am delighted that these 2 high calibre people will be joining the LMS project team.  I am sure that their inclusion in the team will ensure the best possible outcome for libraries as they join the project.

So what does "AG" mean anyway?

I thought I'd provide an update on the work that the initial group of libraries are currently working on.  They are actively working together to develop their system configuration, rules and mapping. Much of this work is being based on the outcomes of the consultation that has been occurring across the network, while some of the minutiae is based on local library needs.

Because of the time constraints that exist there have been a few times when decisions have had to be made relatively quickly. One of the decisions was to review all of the shorthand codes that have been used for ages within the SA public library network.  And of course the use of the code "AG" for large print books came up, along with "CA" for teen materials. The Transitional User Group had to make a decision on Tuesday as to what codes would be used, so that the libraries configuring their systems could move forward.  

I am not sure that you will be surprised, and many will be greatly relieved that there was unanimous agreement to adopt LP for large print materials and T for teen materials.  While these codes will appear in the staff part of Symphony the customers will see the terms Large Print and Teen. There will be no need to actively change existing labelling unless people wish to do so, however we will be working with suppliers to ensure that catalogue records of the future reflect these changes. (It should be noted that every Large Print book has this in print at the top of the spine of these items. So removing the AG stickers could suffice in making the transition to the new if people wanted to do this.)

These are only small changes, but I see them as indicative of the opportunities that this project has provided for the network to undertake reforms of long outdated or idiosyncratic ways of operating that have grown up over time.

I would like to pay a particular tribute to Kathy Haese of the City of Onkaparinga Libraries who has been driving the configuration and set up of the system.  Kathy works part time at Onkaparinga, but has come on board in what are her usual days off to work with PLS to drive this part of the project.  She has been exceptional in both the intellectual capacity and rigour she has brought to the project, and has been outstanding in her dedication to getting things right and done on time. (Phone calls to me on a Saturday afternoon & emails late at night to clarify things are indicative of the effort she has put in on behalf of everyone in the network.)

Kathy has been working on an ad hoc basis to fill a position within the project team that it has taken us some time to fill.  However we are just winding up that process & I will inform you of the outcome in the next day or so.