Tuesday, 29 May 2012

LMS formal launch @ Mitcham

Last night Mitcham Library hosted the formal launch of the "One Card" project.  (Thanks to all Mitcham staff for rearranging the library to fit us all in!)

Speeches from key State-wide partners, the Libraries Board (Chair James Bruce), the LGA (President Mayor Kym McHugh) and the Minister for the Arts (the Honourable John Hill) along with our host the Mayor of the City of Mitcham  (Michael Picton) gave us an outline of the project.  

It was a great opportunity to demonstrate and reaffirm the strength of the successful, decades long partnership between all councils in the State, their peak agency the LGA and the sector's cooperation and interaction with successive State governments.  The value of the current 10 year Memorandum of Agreement between the Minister and the LGA is demonstrated in what we're achieving together.

The launch included the screening of a great new video (that has been put together to promote ‘one card’ and libraries in general). It’s going to be used in a viral campaign in coming weeks.

It has been created by Jon Bentick with input from the Marketing Committee. Tomas Alves of Salisbury cut together the final version and added some great special effects. A real team effort!  Jon doesn't want me to load it to the Blog as it becomes a bit small and grainy. He has asked that I steer you to the links below to view and / or download it.
You can view the “One Card Network – Are you ready for more?” video here:  http://www.viddler.com/v/b0bc950d

You can download a hi-res copy for your own library screens here:  http://www.libraries.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=489
You can see it on our public page here:  http://www.libraries.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=499    

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Marion live today

The fourth of our libraries - Marion - commenced live operations today.

If you go here you can find Marion's very interesting Enterprise site. Marion has used the functionality of the site to great effect to provide detailed information about the library & many of its services including a link through to their online PC booking system. They have also linked out to existing parts of their Council website as well as providing access to a range of other online resources etc.

For the project team Marion is of particular significance as it is the 1st library that is migrating from a non-SirsiDynix LMS. Marion has been running on Libero. So doing a data conversion from a 3rd party LMS was one additional layer of complexity that the Marion, PLS and SirsiDynix teams have had to manage. The fact that it has been successful is good news, and augers well for the group of libraries in August which include both Bookmark and Amlib LMS conversions.

However this installation has been the most difficult to date.  Loading the Marion data yesterday had some unforeseen consequences for the libraries already on the system.  While the SirsiDynix tam worked overnight to fix the data errors we still have some legacy tidy up work to do. 

As scheduled, we now have a three week window to work on a few issues that have arisen while we have been loading these first four libraries. This has come at exactly the right time, as we now have a greater understanding of what the risks and issues are.  At this early stage we are considering a change to the methodology that SirsiDynix has been using to reduce the levels of "last minute" issues that each new load seems to create.  While we have solved a number of matters as they have appeared, we want to have an implementation approach which minimises the "fixing on the fly" approach. Having this window was always designed for this purpose.

And we're on track to then commence another 4 intense weeks with Salisbury, Tea Tree Gully, Playford and Port Adelaide Enfield coming on board weekly, commencing from 14 June. It is probably worth saying that while the libraries are going live each Thursday, work continues on data testing etc right up until the Friday before going live. Libraries then switch over to the Symphony "offline" module on the Monday or Tuesday and capture all of their circulation this way for the few days before they go live. On the Thursday there is a need to upload all of of the offline circulation data before live circulation can commence on the new system. So as you can see, while the go-live date is what the public sees, there is lots of activity behind the scenes leading up to this event.

The other part of the project that people don't see is is the long lead time before we get to this stage. The SWAP network - which is due to go live in September - is already meeting with a PLS assigned project manager, doing work on their rules, cleaning up their data and their training dates are already assigned. And we had a project commencement/ familiarisation meeting with Adelaide libraries on Tuesday because they are due to go live in November.

Monday, 21 May 2012

ILL Transition

I mentioned in my post about Alexandrina going live that we're conscious of the impact of the LMS consortium on access to ILL's through P2.  

The 1st 8 libraries which will join the LMS consortium have approximately 1.2M items between them.  While not all of these items were registered on P2,  removing the holdings of the first 8 libraries from P2 is bound to have an impact on what is available for ILL.  And as we plan to add the SWAP libraries (Prospect, Walkerville, Campbelltown and Norwood Payneham & St Peters) in September and Adelaide in November the P2 ILL pool will continue to shrink.

We're keen to restore access to these collections for all other libraries.  Therefore we are working with SirsiDynix to create the most efficient way that we can do this.

At this stage (and subject to some testing etc) we are looking to provide all library services in the State with access to the LMS.  We plan to do this by creating each library service as a branch on the system and providing each library service with a borrowing card which will be used to reserve ILL items for the local (non-participating libraries') customers.  

Because each library service is on the system this will mean that routing slips will be produced at the point at which the owning library starts the process of sending the items to the destination library. (The routing slip will include information about the destination library, the title of the item and its barcode. This will allow the libraries to treat these loans exactly like all other ILLs done on Symphony as well as providing TOLL with the slip which will direct them in how to sort the items.) 

We are also examining providing each non-participating library with access to a StaffWeb module on Symphony.  This will mean that when items arrive at the destination library they can be "wanded in" which means that the system can track that they have arrived at their destination.  The library will then use their local LMS to lend these items to their local customers.  And the return process will be the same in reverse - i.e. the item will be returned on the local system and then wanded in on StaffWeb, which will record that it has been returned and that it is on its way back to its owning library.  If we're really fortunate we may be able to get StaffWeb to print a routing slip for these items as well!

And as I intimated in an email the other day, this same system will be able to be used to track items which are returned to non-owning libraries.

As you can imagine there is considerable work to be done to proof this up and make sure that the system can work as we want it to.  Therefore we don't think we will have anything in place for a few months.  However, as you can see from this post, we're working on this & are serious about getting a solution in place as soon as we can.

While we are keen to put this in place soon, it should be noted that for non-participating libraries P2 will continue to be the 1st port of call for ILLs.  This is because ILL access is a reciprocal arrangement whereby libraries can both borrow from their neighbours as well as being prepared to lend their own collections.  It would be unreasonable if the rest of the State targeted the 1st 8 LMS libraries as their 1st place for ILL requests.  As part of the strategy for ensuring that requests are placed on P2 as well as on Symphony  the number of ILL requests that non-participating libraries can place on LMS libraries will be restricted.  We are currently working to identify the right level of this restriction.

I will keep all in the network informed as we progress towards a workable solution for the ILL transition.  And of course I am happy to take comments and questions about any aspect of this proposed solution.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Alexandrina "live"

Despite some interesting last minute data glitches Alexandrina has joined Mitcham and Onkaparinga as part of the consortium today.  Thanks to some overnight work by SirsiDynix data consultants here & in the US what was problematic is all ok - whew!

If you go here you can find Alexandrina's Enterprise site, which has a slightly different look & feel to the others.  And I've had a sneak peek at the next few libraries' draft Enterprise sites.  We can expect that each library will have a slightly different look & feel to reflect  local preferences.  I am sure that the early adopting libraries will take a look as new libraries come online and revise their own sites over time too.  (This is not to say that the early sites need any work - just that people will find new features and ways of doing things over time.)

I'm conscious that we're taking library holdings out of P2 for ILL purposes as libraries prepare to join the consortium, and this will have an impact on the ability of some libraries to meet the needs of their customers.  Not being able to access the holdings of these consortium libraries is a temporary arrangement & I'll have more to say about this in the next few days.

Friday, 11 May 2012

BookMyne Mobile App & Facebook

We've been busy setting up the mobile App BookMyne for each library branch as they come online.  This App is available on an iPhone as well as a newly released Android version (thanks for the update James).

BookMyne allows customers to use their mobile phone to search the catalogue & place holds. It also allows customers to see items they have on loan, manage their holds and get reminders before items are due. Along with this is information about each library - opening hours, email address, phone number etc.  

I thought about dropping a few screen shots into this post, but that would make it look too much like some training notes, so I've resisted this option. There are a bunch of other features in the App, but rather than describe them here or add screen shots I'd recommend that library staff either use their iPhones or borrow a friend's and explore how it works. You can also see more about BookMyne on the SirsiDynix website.

I would comment that this App is a "work in progress", which needs further development.  You will note that it can't do "library service" just individual branches. This is OK for some libraries that are not multi-branch services, but it does not work as I would prefer for a significant number of our libraries.  So I am impatient to see further enhancements to the App, but from my perspective it is a great start.

We've also set up the back end connection between Symphony and Facebook.  This allows libraries to then put the library search option into their Facebook site.  Mitcham has aleady done this.  You can see it here.   And it is on the Libraries SA Facebook site too.  It is the icon that looks like this:
If you want to know more about how this works you can find information here.

James Kemperman is the expert in our office who is working on these applications as well as Enterprise set ups.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Statewide Enterprise site

While we have been rolling out specific iterations of Enterprise for each library service we are also building a State-wide version as well.  Below is a screenshot of the site.  It can be found here

We're keeping it simple - with some news on the right hand side about who is "on" and who is coming next.  Its a bit difficult to read on screen, but you can make out that Mitcham and Onkaparinga are listed 1st, then a line that says "Soon to com onboard" with the next 6 listed in their correct sequence.

If you click on the arrow to the right of the 1st box - which currently shows a choice of "Everything" you will see that each library will be listed here once it has gone live.

At this stage we are using this site as a bit of a testbed to look at how facets work and what the relationship is between fields in the MARC catalogue records and how they display in Enterprise. But longer term it will also be a good place for libraries & even the public to come and search the State-wide catalogue.  Of course if people use this site they will miss all of the local information that will be on their "home" library site.  But it does have a purpose.

We now have a consortium

Onkaparinga "went live" this morning. We therefore have the start of a consortium with 2 libraries (8 branches & a mobile) sharing a common database of customers and items. And this allows customers from each library to directly access each others resources. Small steps - but bigger things to come!!

Progress to this point has not been without its minor glitches and issues that have had us perplexed and acting quickly to overcome these challenges. And we know that there will be minor wrinkles going forward.

We've learnt a bit about data merging, and the need to ensure that necessary (but not obvious) changes are made to local catalogue records prior to loading and merging. These learnings will assist us in ensuring that as we add each new library we will minimise data issues.

I'd like to pay tribute to the good humour and dedication of staff in both libraries who have had to deal with a few unintended consequences as we've all learnt together about some of the intricacies of building this shared system.  While there may be a certain prestige in joining early, there has been quite a bit of experimentation and extra work done by our 1st 2 library services.  Future additions to the consortium will benefit from the work done and lessons learned over the last few weeks!

Onkaparinga has its Enterprise site up and running.  It is here.
I'm not sure if you've seen the banners that we have developed for each library.  To keep a consistent message and look we have re-used the artwork that has been used in the videos etc. 

We will provide every library branch with 2 banners per branch for a few weeks prior to and after "go live" day. These will be shipped to libraries as they approach their go live date.

We also have bookmarks which will be shipped to all libraries close to their go live. The artwork on the bookmarks is the same as the banners.

Alexandrina will go "off line" early next week so that they can go live on Thursday next week, with Marion going live on the 24th.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

School Community Libraries - LMS progress

There is a significant number of School Community Libraries (SCLs) which are eager to join the LMS consortium in the near future.  At this stage there are about 20 libraries who have the funds and are ready to join the consortium.  

Following an assessment of ours and SirsiDynix's capacity to add new libraries we will be commencing our SCL pilot with four SCLs.  These libraries will be in Karoonda, East Murray, Lameroo and Pinnaroo.  We plan to add these libraries to the consortium in August.  I want to thank Bob Muster of Lameroo for his support of all 4 libraries in their progress towards implementation.

These SCLs will be coming off Bookmark and Amlib LMSs and have a number of representative features such as a an active local depot at Geranium.  The learnings that we will take from these SCLs will assist us in working with other SCLs over the next few years.  

We also expect that we will be able to add several additional SCLs to the consortium before the end of the year, along with other libraries such as SWAP and City of Adelaide this year.  We will have a backlog of libraries that we will add to the consortium in early 2013. We will ensure that the SCLs and others who have indicated that they are ready to move will continue to be at the front of the queue as we plan for the remainder of 2012 and into early 2013.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Mitcham's launch

So - they've done it.  Mitcham is "live" on Symphony - which is great.  But as I've said before - its a bit (but not quite) like having the 1st telephone.  The "consortium" only starts when you've got someone to talk to and share with.  
However for Mitcham while there is no-one else to share with yet, there is the excitement of a new system and a few other firsts.  If you've seen their new Enterprise site you will notice a new logo.   This had not just been prepared for Enterprise, but has also become the front side of their new library card...
and the cake that was prepared for the launch...  

By the time I visited this afternoon some of the side bits had been eaten, but they took the photo above before it got carved up.  This cake was one of 2 that was out in the library.  Staff offered cake & coffee to all customers as they came through the library as a way of celebrating and announcing the start of their new system.
Of course there were a few minor glitches - setting up the receipt printers, ensuring that the old web address for the Mitcham catalogue was now re-routing to Enterprise and ensuring that notices were properly configured so that they could print were the key ones.  But these were relatively minor issues.
A couple of Onkaparinga staff turned up - partly to lend a hand, but also to see how things went, as they will be going live next Thursday!  Then there really will be 2 parties in the consortium who can share their resources!
In a project like this there is a real tendency to rush on to the next stage, without stopping to celebrate and recognise the achievements of each step.  So I'd like to stop and just say a few "thank yous".  There will be other such opportunities along the way - but today I'd like to publicly acknowledge the staff of the 1st four libraries (Mitcham, Onkaparinga, Alexandrina and Marion) who have been / are the guinea pigs as we're rolling out the system.  It takes a special sort of nerve to go 1st & allow us all to learn from your experience.  And especially Mitcham, who have been the ones to go 1st.  With the privilege comes extra work and a capacity to go with the flow as we've been learning together.  

And likewise - I'd acknowledge the project management team from KDN - Dominic Novia who has shepherded Mitcham through to today, Frank Morello who is working with Onkaparinga ready for next week, and John Dunnery the program manager.

And of course there has been the incredible dedication and long hours put in by the PLS team who have gone above & beyond to get us to this point today.  To Lyal Mutton Jo Freeman, Jo Rivers and James Kemperman ad the principal PLS staff involved - thanks!! And along with these staff are Tricia Knightly who is working on lots of the P2 to Symphony issues and Diana Zaganjori who is doing lots of network upgrades to ensure that the system will run smoothly - great less obvious but vital work that needs doing -thanks.  Also to the rest of the PLS team who have contributed in various ways - again - thanks.
And so - its onwards to Onkaparinga and beyond...

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

New LMS movie

Some of you will have seen the 1st LMS movie that PLS released - primarily aimed at explaining the idea to councillors and council staff.  It can be found on our LMS Intranet site. (you'll need to log in)

We've now made a shorter one, more directly aimed at customers. I hope that it is useful for you. A high resolution version is on the Intranet for you to download and use locally.  However I have also inserted a low res version here for you to look at. 

Enterprise look & feel

I should have mentioned yesterday that Enterprise can be configured in a whole range of ways - both in terms of layout as well as colour schemes.  Below are some links that you may want to check out to see how others have set up their systems.

I really like the "buttons" that Mitcham has put down the left hand side of the screen - linking off to a range of other services and options.  By making them as big and as colourful as they are means that people can understand what they are before clicking through.  And the addition of some local information sources such as the Messenger newspapers and SA Community provides some real local information.

I haven't asked, but I am sure that the Mitcham team would be happy to share these icons with anyone who also wanted to use them on their site when they set it up.

Here are a few sites: 

Livingston Manor - a small public library in New York State.
http://rcls.ent.sirsi.net/client/livmanor.  This library is using the same blue background and NY Times best seller list as Mitcham, with their only customisation being the addition of their opening hours.  However you will note that they have included the option of seeing the instructions in Spanish - in the "select language" choice on the top right hand set of options.
Wells County Public Library - In Indiana USA. 
 http://welc.ent.sirsi.net/client/default They have used the same blue fading to white screen, but are not using any side panels. They have chosen to put the various links into the bar along the bottom of the screen. Not my favourite idea, but perhaps it was an easy change to make.

University of Reading - UK
http://rdg.ent.sirsidynix.net.uk/client/main  This site looks very different.  Enterprise has been used to provide seamless access to three different collections that the University has had for many years.  Rather than combining all the collections into one catalogue they have used Enterprise to access all three separate existing catalogues. This is one of the powerful features of Enterprise - the ability to access disparate sources of information, not just a single library catalogue. 
They have not used the site to advertise any other information such as opening hours, etc.
Carnegie Mellon University - well known US university with a campus in Adelaide.
http://search.library.cmu.edu/client/default This site looks quite busy - but it does create a "one stop shop" in terms of accessing so many other services provided by the library.  It also uses a photo as their header.  They have a news section as well as some instructions about how to use services.
Hopefully providing access to these sites may get you thinking about how you may wish to customise your site when the time comes.