Alma Day Presentations - Lancaster University 2013-06-03
Alma - making the case for a consolidatedlibrary services platformClare Powne, University Librarian, Lancaster UniversityAlma Live, Lancaster, 3 June 2013
• New Librarian appointed• Critical appraisal of libraryoperations• Disruptive technology-driven changeLibrary strategic reviewOctober 2009
Horizon ReportEducauseKey trends• abundance of resources andrelationships made easilyaccessible via the Internet• people expect to be able to work,learn and study whenever andwherever they want to• students’ work is increasingly of acollaborative natureTechnologies• mobile computing• open content• e-booksCritical challenges• digital media literacy• economic pressures• new models of education• new forms of scholarly authoring,publishing and researching• keeping pace with rapidproliferation of information andsoftware tools
Our vision for the future is to be a sustainable andacademically excellent institution recognised as oneof the leading universities in the world1 – 10 – 100 targets: regionally, nationally, globallyServices recognised for quality,innovation, responsivenessand efficiencyLancaster UniversityStrategic plan 2009-15
• Policies and practices in universities requiremodernisation to make the most efficientuse of assets and other resources• Novel technologies and facilities areneeded to allow all staff and studentsto access content and services fromproviders elsewhereStrategic plan 2009-15Catalysts and drivers
We will implement integrated, effective and efficient servicesthat meet the needs of staff and students:– by engaging in thorough process analysis– by establishing effective change programmes that are properlyplanned and resourcedWe will continue to develop organisational structures that helppromote joined-up thinking in delivery of services andprocesses:– by deploying resources efficiently in support of agreed priorities– by ensuring a fully integrated approach across central services andfacultiesStrategic plan 2009-15Responsive and integrated services
• Library as content– information provision• Library as service– the services which enable people to discoverand use information resources of all kinds– staff roles and activities• Library as place– the spaces offered for independent study and research andneeded to house the physical collectionsLibrary planning framework
• re-balance staff effort from time-intensive print-based activity• review processes and streamline• adjust front-line staffing levels appropriate to servicedemand• release capacity for support of learning andresearch, to add real value for users• smaller work force with higher level skills for digitalenvironmentStrategic responses
To upgrade the LMS and the processes it supports to deliver• efficiency savings• service enhancements• greater capacity for new areas of work• cost effective Cloud-based solution• single unified platform• designed for hybrid print/digital environment• encompassing workflows for materials in all formats• unified resource management complementing unified discovery• early adoption offering• price advantage• global collaboration at the forefront of system developmentsOutline business case proposal toBudget Review Group
• manage the transition to an increasingly digital environmentmore effectively and efficiently• integrate currently separate workflows for physical and digitalresources• catalyse process review and service enhancement• collaborate in international shared services development andsystems evolution• integrate Library and other institutional systems andprocesses (APIs)• use data to support evidence-based decision-making andplanning (analytics)Alma positions the Library to:
2010/11• self-service• staff restructuring phase 1• resource discovery2011/12• support for taught courses – Aspire resource list management2012/13• unified resource management – Alma• staff restructuring phase 2• planning for building re-modellingBudget Review GroupReview of Library developments March 2011
• Aleph– since 2002– designed for print environment– stand-alone locally hosted system• Bolt-on additions for e-resource management– SFX– MetaLib• Primo– implemented May 2011– badged as OneSearch• replaced Catalogue August 2012Ex Libris at Lancaster
onesearch.lancs.ac.uk• single point of access for all physical and e-resources• simplify information retrieval• explore local collections and global academicinformation resources simultaneously• greater exposure for resources• provide relevant results quickly• ease of integration with other systems, particularlycatalogue and repository• flexible and attractive interface
• large consumer of ISS virtualised servers• efficiency savings• no hardware replacement costs• no local software administration• further freeing of systems staff from routinemaintenance, software upgrades• releasing capacity for collaborative involvement indevelopment of innovative services• potential to share common tasks with other librariesSoftware as a service
Resonance with institutional strategy:• quality, innovation, responsiveness, efficiency, integrationAgency for necessary changeCatalyst for• process review and optimisation• service enhancement• staff development and opportunityGlobal collaboration on significantly different approaches toautomated management of library operationsStrategic positioning for the rapidly evolving environmentSummary
Alma at LancasterProject implementationDavid SummersDeputy Librarian, Lancaster University
• Signed contract 24 May 2011• European EAs kick-off meeting July 2011• European EAs prioritisation meeting January 2012• Formation of Lancaster project team January 2012• Lancaster Project kick-off meeting 30 June 2012• Training programme August 2012• Functional workshop September 2012• Implementation period Sept - Dec 2012• Go Live 14 January 2013• Post-implementation Jan-May 2013Implementation – the timetable
• Config & migration forms 2-15 July• Aleph & SFX test migration 15-30 July• Access to Sandbox 31 July• Training Webinars 31 Jul-17 Aug• Access to Production environment 6 August• Functional Workshops 4-7 September• Workflow & Integrations testing Oct-Dec• Cutover period 21 Dec-14 Jan• Go Live 14 January• Alma admin certification 19-20 February• Switch to Alma Support 11 MarchKey project dates
• Training webinars from Chicago• Project management from Hamburg• Data migration and development from Jerusalem• Data hosting from AmsterdamThe global project experience
• Aleph migration• SFX migration• Core functionality for most processes• Configuration of Alma (after a slow start!)• Integration with PrimoWhat went well
• Periods of slow running in first weeks• Integration with Aspire• Courtesy and overdue notices / account statements• Establishing e-book workflows• Interlending (still extremely basic)• Initial problem with Primo Central• Updating patron recordsWhat went less well (or took longerthan expected)
• Most basic workflows now in place, but more work to do onoptimising them• APIs restored – Library system now searchable from studentportal and iLancaster• Work started on extracting basic analytics, but optimisation isreliant on further Ex Libris development• Some integrations now working, e.g. Aspire• Community Zone still very basicWhere are we now?
Progress with workflowsArea WorkflowBasicworkflowestablishedIssuesEfficiency benefitafter 2 monthsEfficiency benefitafter 4 monthsAnticipatedbenefit after 6months?Acquisitions Ordering print materials 28-Feb-13 Neutral Positive PositiveAcquisitions Receiving & Invoicing 28-Feb-13 Not yet integrated with Finance system Neutral Neutral NeutralAcquisitions Ordering & activating e-books 17-Apr-13 Ordering simplified through use of CZ Negative Positive PositiveAcquisitions Ordering subscriptions materials 15-Feb-13Currently re-entering new subscription orders. Gains willcome with next subscription year Negative Neutral PositiveAcquisitions E-journal activation 15-Feb-13 No gains on SFX Neutral Neutral NeutralFulfilment Fines - user payment 28-Feb-13 Some minor gains through part-payment Neutral Neutral PositiveFulfilment Fines - upload to student records 28-Feb-13Weekly manual process. Improvements will requirechanges to analytics (to show user ID) Negative Negative NeutralFulfilment Cash reconciliation 15-Feb-13Weekly process. Improvement will require change toanalytics (to refresh daily) Negative Negative NeutralFulfilment Requests 28-Feb-13Collection and scanning now done by Aides, requestmonitoring functionality better than in Aleph Neutral Positive PositiveFulfilment High Demand 28-Mar-13Immediate improvements in efficiency initiallyundermined by bug, now resolved. Neutral Positive PositiveFulfilment Self service circulation 28-Feb-13Some issues with SIP2 holding back desiredimprovements, e.g. emailed receipts. Neutral Neutral NeutralFulfilment External borrower registration 28-Feb-13 Records need inputting - plans to develop user interface Neutral Neutral PositiveResource sharing IDS requests to the British Library 28-Feb-13 Requests need inputting. Alma functionality very basic. Negative Negative NeutralResource sharing IDS requests to other partners No functionality Negative Negative NeutralResource sharing IDS lending request management No functionality Negative Negative NeutralResource Management Importing catalogue records 15-Feb-13 Much more efficient and now done by Library Assistants Positive Positive PositiveResource ManagementClassification/catalogue recordenhancement 15-Feb-13 Process similar to Aleph but need now much reduced Positive Positive PositiveResource ManagementHolding/Item record amendments for newstock 15-Feb-13 Currently bug causing problems for multiple copies Negative Negative PositiveResource ManagementWithdrawal of stock / amendment ofrecords 15-Feb-13 Process much more efficient than with Aleph Positive Positive PositiveIntegrations API link to portal etc 10-Apr-13 Neutral Positive PositiveIntegrations API link to Finance system No functionality at present Neutral Neutral NeutralAnalyticsProducing analytics and embedding them inworkflowsWork on analytics and standard reports now under way,but held back by lack of daily updating Negative Negative Positive
Lancaster – specific objectivesWhat has been achieved so far?OBJECTIVE CURRENT STATUSTo be pioneers not followers AchievedTo offer high quality, state-of-the-art, fully integratedresources for usersPartially achievedTo develop and refine efficient workflows, which willcontinue to evolve in response to new developmentsEarly daysTo use easily-derived analytics to inform serviceimprovementEarly daysTo lower overall costs of service provision Not yet achievedTo free Library staff for more creative activities Not yet achievedTo share data and efficiencies with a widercommunity of Alma usersNot yet achieved
Mainly in our hands• Full review / optimisation ofworkflows to align for futureneed rather than past practice• Embed analytics for serviceimprovement• Optimise current integrationswith other campus systems, e.g.student portal• Put Primo in Cloud?In collaboration with Ex Libris• Greater benefits from CommunityZone• Develop further integrations withother HE systems, e.g. financesystem, KB+ for UK Alma users?• Better resource sharingfunctionalityLooking aheadThe next steps
Supporting a Unified Resource System inthe CloudJohn Krug & Andy HartlandLibrary Systems
• Despite the title I’ll be talking very little about Alma andsupporting it in the cloud. Because ….• Alma has been configured and our data migrated to it both byEx Libris. Initial problems & surprises sorted out. Still someremaining but we are working round them till fixed.• Now we tweak configuration and improve librarycommunications, reporting problems, requestingenhancements and monitoring their resolution in the monthlyupdates. That’s Alma LMS support in the cloud.• Process and workflow improvements are taking place, theyare staff driven and implemented with support from LibrarySystems where necessary.Support changes
Systems contextAlephProductionAleph TestMetalib/SFXProductionMetalib/SFXTestPrimo FEPrimo BEPrimo STLibrary BELibrary FEEzproxyPrimo FEPrimo BEPrimo STLibrary BELibrary FEEzproxyLibrary BELibrary FEAlmaAlma, Primo,EzproxyNowLast year Future?
• IaaS started years ago with the move to university hosted VM andwe got rid of our own Sun hardware. Now moving to SaaS.• 4 less virtual servers to support, Aleph Production, Aleph Test and 2Windows servers used as Aleph print clients.• Metalib/SFX will also be going, another 2 servers gone.• Ideally, Primo and Ezproxy in the cloud, releasing another 4 servers.• This releases between 24-56 GB RAM and 1-2 TB of disc for reuse inby the VM infrastructure depending on exactly what we do.• No longer necessary to pay for RHEL licences for Aleph andMetalib/SFX Servers.• We now have two (frontend & backend) CENTOS (free RHEL) Linuxservers supporting library/Alma operations and development.Systems change
Infrastructure savingsRAM & Disc costs from ISSSystem Ram GB Disc GB Ram @ £10.42per GB per yearDisc @ £1.54per GB per yearLicensing Costs Cost per yearNowAleph Production 8.00 336.00 83.36 517.44 169 769.8Aleph Test 4.00 290.00 41.68 446.6 169 657.28Metalib/SFXProduction 8.00 274.00 83.36 421.96 169 674.32Metalib/SFX Test 4.00 220.00 41.68 338.8 169 549.48Total 24.00 1,120.00 250.08 1,724.80 676.00 2,650.88Possible FutureEzproxy 0.27 10.00 2.8134 15.4 18.21Primo FE 12.00 214.00 125.04 329.56 169 623.6Primo BE 8.00 306.00 83.36 471.24 169 723.6Primo ST 12.00 260.00 125.04 400.4 169 694.44Total 32.27 790.00 336.25 1,216.60 507.00 2,059.85Totals 56.27 1,910.00 586.33 2,941.40 1,183.00 4,710.73
• Perceived loss of control. No low level access.• Worry about the capability to provide data security & integrity, disasterrecovery, performance.• Many network links in the chain.• No hardware, OS and routine application maintenance for cloud basedservices.• Access to leading/bleeding edge library management services.• Fast update cycle.• Data security & integrity, disaster recovery, performance better providedby specialists at Ex Libris and Lancaster ISS than a 2 person Library Systemsteam.• Time released for providing better services.• Need to be able to trust the provider.Cloud Risks & Benefits
• You are moving to the cloud, shared tenancy. So:– Be critical of current operations.– Attempting to recreate your current system in Alma will causeproblems so be prepared for change.– Clean up your data.• Normalise anomalies/typos in bibliographic, holdings, item data.– Simplify processes.• User groups, locations, collections.• Alma is a reasonable system for a modern academic library.• Modern design and implementation with an eye on thefuture.• Do things the Alma way, have time for other projects.Pre-implementation hints
• Skills (more a change of emphasis than wholesale change)– From: SQL, Linux, scripting, awk, perl, technical integration.– To: SQL, Linux, scripting, XSLT, XML, OBIEE, web services. Python is ourchosen programming/scripting language, service provision.– The same but different. Emphasis is on interfaces and web servicesrather than direct database access and manipulation.• Time (again a change in emphasis)– Much less time managing servers, particularly backup and batchschedules.– Allowing a move from systems maintenance to service development.More interesting and useful to the library and university.More changes
• We have some old servers to decommission, historical loans data tobe migrated to a local repository so it can continue to be analysedand some on-going Alma issues to resolve.• Development of interfaces to other university systems, HR andRegistry (identity management), Finance, Portal and LancasterMobile (iLancaster).• All easier in Alma, better/improving interfaces, less integration glue& twine.• More time for ‘Business Analysis’, improving the services librarysystems provide to library staff, library patrons and the universityacademic community.• Time for other projects, Shibboleth, RDM, …….., etc. Projects thatare important for the library.The services to be developed? Stillunder review and discussion.
• Easy to create reports and browse data, allowing report construction tomove sideways from technical staff to staff who make first hand use of thedata. Information discovery ‘empowerment’ and skills transfer.• Development of– library operations and statistics dashboards.– In depth statistical reporting with drill down.– data mining, discovery of information we suspect is there and findingsurprises we had no idea about.– predictive analytics, likelihood of events.• e.g. P->E, will there be a tipping point (meaning rapid change inprocess, budget allocation) and when, which groups are adoptingfastest, slowest, etc.– OBIEE ‘actionable intelligence’ to trigger events and workflow.• e.g. Loans on item passes threshold -> triggers Alma workflow for purchasingof copies or e-resource.Analytics services
• Daily updates of Analytics data is taking too long to happen, supposed tohave been February 2013, now scheduled for end of June.• Initially, Alma broke the 10 year old XSL 1.0 standard by inserting a custompre-processor causing us confusion, letters development was dangerouslydelayed.Both fragments below are valid XSL but only one worked ……<xsl:include href="header.xsl"/> <xsl:include href="header.xsl" /><xsl:include href="senderReceiver.xsl"/> <xsl:include href="senderReceiver.xsl" />• 3rd party communication. With some issues we have felt like ‘piggy in themiddle’ getting Ex Libris to work with 3M and Talis/Aspire.• We felt were like a development partner but were early adopters whichwas sometime a struggle. Future implementations should be easier.• Nothing insurmountable.Problems
• Library Systems will concentrate less on the ‘technical how’ ofservice delivery and more on ‘what’, library needed servicesare delivered.• Information discovery and LMS configuration no longermostly the preserve of Library Systems.• Library Systems to initiate and support change.– Data driven– New projectsIn summary
Acquisition workflows in AlmaIntegrating print and electronicNicola Kilgallon - Acquisitions & E-Resources Librarian
• Single system to manage print, electronic, and digital content• Streamline workflows• Increase support for e-resource issues• Develop staff skills• Develop a One Team approach• Community Zone benefitsWhat were we hoping for?
How did we manage before Alma?Aleph from 2002SFX from 2004
Aleph• Acquisition staff created basicrecords for print & e-book orders• Acquisition staff received physicalitems• Cataloguing staff enhancedbibliographic records for physicalitems• E-resources staff retrieved MARCrecords for e-books fromsuppliers & publishers• Systems staff uploaded e-bookMARC recordsSFX• E-resources staff activated e-books and e-journals• Systems staff exported brief e-journal records into AlephWho did what?
What’s changed?Ordering print books - importing records from external cataloguesat the point of order
What’s changed?Using Community Zone records to order e-books and e-journals
New e-journal and e-bookpackages ordered usingCommunity Zone recordsPackages activated via theTask ListWhat’s changed?Activating packages
• Acquisition staff activating e-books• Community Zone records used for single e-book titleso Cataloguing staff enhancing these recordso Stopped uploading single title MARC records• E-Resources staff uploading MARC records for e-bookpackages• Community Zone records for e-journals automaticallydisplaying in OneSearchSummary of workflows changes
• Improved e-book records in the Community Zoneo Stop enhancing e-book records for single titleso Stop uploading records from suppliers for e-book packages• Community Zone includes records from other Alma librarieso Stop importing records from external catalogues for print items• Extend selection and purchasing roles to wider group of staffo Creating Reading Listso Reacting quickly to physical items in high demando Reviewing and monitoring usage of existing e-book titlesAnticipated future changes toworkflows
• Short-termo End-of-year management of funds and ledgerso Develop reporting and analysis options via Analyticso Involve more staff in the selection, acquisition and managementof new content• Longer-termo Cost per usage analysiso Licence managemento Patron Driven Acquisition workflowso Trial evaluationo Interaction with University Financial SystemWhat’s next?
Resource management – towardssimplification and a unified approach… moving towards a streamlined, shared approach to metadata management in a hybridinformation worldRichard Ingham, Annette LawrenceMetadata Management, Lancaster University
• In 2002 Lancaster was operating with an in house system• Modified AACR2 and an in house metadata schema – not aMARC environment• Locally developed name and subject headings – not LC• No items or holding records – copy information stored in thebibliographic record• No record importing – original cataloguing• …. And an in house version of BLISS 1 classificationThe result : very staff intensive and not cost effectiveThe context for resource managementat Lancaster University
• Aleph arrives 2002• Converted our data to a MARC environment and upgradedour records (approx. 65- 70%)• Adopted full AACR2 and MARC21 standards• Adopted use of LC name and subject headings• Started importing recordsLancaster has joined the modern cataloguing world, although…What happened next?
• Acquisitions staff still create original basic catalogue recordfor order purposes• Record importing at the cataloguing stage and the majoritydone by Senior Library Assistants• Managing LC authority records at a local level• Limited number of external sources to import records• Print and electronic resource management separateWhat happened next?The Aleph Years 2002 - 2012
• Implemented January 2013• What did we want ALMA to do for us?And then ….
To develop and refine efficient workflows, which will continue to evolve inresponse to new developments, reduce staff intensive processes, take advantageof new technologies to automate proceduresFree resource management staff to work in more creative areas – future plansmay include managing digital media assets, research data, etc.Consolidate print and electronic workflows, including metadata enhancementUse management information from analytics functionality to inform collectionmanagement decisions and space planningAlign resource management withLibrary strategy – key goals
Achievement so far :• Record importing now managed at Acquisitions Stage byLibrary Assistants using the External Search functionality• Increased number of external sources• All holding/item record management by Library AssistantsWhat has Alma done for resourcemanagement at Lancaster?
• Community Zone records for electronic books - currentlyenhanced at local level by metadata editors as part of hybridmetadata approach to print and electronic formatmanagement• Community Zone records for print books and journals - weplan to review how we can best use the Community Zone toimprove the hit rate for record import as metadata becomesavailableWhat has Alma done forresource management atLancaster?
• All authority control managed by the network authority filesin the Community Zone – no local management• Towards our goal – reduced intervention of metadata staffwith the import and amendment of metadata at local level –staff free to work in new areas!What has Alma done forresource management atLancaster?
2002Original cataloguing for allrecordsLocal authority creation andmanagementVery staff intensive2002-2012Original cataloguing diminishingquicklyStill creating basic records atorder stage for upgrade viarecord importManaging LC authorities2013 -Towards full collaborative datasharing – minimal originalcataloguing and amendmentNetworked authority control –no local managementStaff efficient!Towards a shared approach tometadata management
• RDA – What can Alma do for us? Alma currently supports theupdated fields that support the RDA content standard• It is planned from Q3 2013 that Alma will fully support RDAwith the RDA entities encoded in single bibliographic andauthority recordsAlma and the bigger picture – RDA andbeyond …
• Alma’s metadata management environment features supportfor multiple metadata schemas – MARC21 and Dublin Core atpresent with MODS planned for 2014• The format neutral infrastructure should provide a sustainableplatform to allow for agile movement to new schemas such asBibframe as the industry moves forwardBibframe and beyond?
Transferred the interrogation and manipulationof data, and the configuration of resourcemanagement processes to the metadata teamfrom the systems teamWhat else has Alma done forresource management?
• Alma supports powerful, refined searching, including multiplefield combinations using data from bibliographic, holdings anditem records• Detailed sets of results can be exported as Excel files or usedfor global change processesThere is more to resource management thancataloguing books - The Repository Search
• Alma Analytics presents new opportunities for evaluating ourresources and collections— giving a strong future focus to ourcollection development planning• We are using it to analyse how stock is expanding, usage byclassmark and format, comparisons of print and electronicacquisitionAlma Analytics – detailed data analysis
• Created normalisation rules to improve the quality ofimported records and reduce local editing• Added new external resources to increase hit rate for recordimport• Created templates for local use• Performed data clean up via global change functionality• Created sets of records to withdraw, amend or export viaExcel for further analysisMajor change – all performed by metadata team withoutsystems team interventionResource Management Configuration –what have we done so far?
• Continue to move towards collaborative metadatamanagement• Work towards fully exploiting Alma Analytics functionality• Maximise use of configuration tools to improve processes• Ongoing review of workflows as new features develop• Long term – maintain active awareness of new developments,e.g. proposed digital management functionality – part of ExLibris roadmap for Alma for 2013/14 and onwardsMoving onwards …
A taste of AlmaFrom circulation to fulfillment
• Automated workflows with task list where intervention isrequired (e.g. pick from shelf list; requests for digitization).• Allow staff to see at a glance what needs doing.• Allows for flexible management of processes - can allowanybody to access task lists if you give them the rightpermissions.EfficiencyWorkflows & process efficiency
What is a fulfillment request?• User requesting a book which is on loan• User requesting a book which is on the shelves• User requesting a digitized chapter• Library request to move an item to another collectionIntegrated workflowsExample - requests