People Issues in Library System Migrations Mary Mallery, Ph.D. Montclair State University Library
Background Montclair State University is the second largest university in NJ with 14,000 students Sprague Library holds 650,000 books and 1,800 periodicals
Library system migration from DRA Classic with Web2 to Sirsi Unicorn with iLink in June, 2003.
Issue 1: Communication
What do you mean we’re “migrating” to a new system?
Issue 2: Physical Challenge
Cognitive research shows that it can take a person up to 3 weeks to physically adapt to a change in their environment.
Issue 3: Fear Factor
What if the new system makes my job obsolete?
Issue 4: Breaking Traditions
“ We’ve always used the Kardex to check in the serials.”
Teambuilding Solutions Explain the need for the system change. Ask for input in small forums. Make people part of the choice.
Do a Stakeholders Analysis after the implementation.
Host a Venting Session, where people say one good thing and one bad thing about the new system, then follow up with the vendor.
Teambuilding Solutions Review ergonomics of workstations. Elect a department Resource Person who will answer questions on the spot.
Train staff pre-, intra- and post-migration.
Teambuilding Solutions Take Field Trips to a Library that uses the new system Join Webforums and listservs
Host Local Users Group meetings
Break Down Invisible Fences! "If you do not think about work-flow processes when you implement your new system, you might not be able to fully utilize your new software, ending up with a very expensive substitute for your old system."
From Corey Seeman, “Breaking Down Invisible Fences" Computers in Libraries July/august 2002: 25-30
Montclair State University Library Teams
Contact Info: [email_address] Mary Mallery, Ph.D. Montclair State University Library