With the arrival of students and the start of the fall semester, tomorrow is our go-live date for OCLC’s WorldShare Platform (WMS) at the Luria Library. I fully embrace this migration from our legacy platform (SirsiDynix Horizon), but I am clearly nervous and a little uncertain if we are ready for the switch on Monday morning. This has been an accelerated implementation with all the work having been performed since early May. The library staff, particularly our technical service librarian and circulation staff, have been working extra long hours focused on this migration. It’s an exciting opportunity that will serve our students and our staff into the immediate future.
The steps for the migration aren’t that difficult – export patron records, circulation data, and bibliographic data, configure our settings in WMS, and test, test, test. Unfortunately, the tests have uncovered a few hiccups to our migration and we’ve been working closely with our OCLC implementation team to get them resolved. A few aspects of migration are going to require significant manual effort. Specifically, creating the Reserves Collection, cleaning up the Serials Collection (holdings information is not accurate), item costs didn’t migrate well due to discrepancies in Horizon, and it seems we didn’t migrate local holding information for our 25k+ ebooks so linking doesn’t exist right now (unknown resolution).
This week I’ve been working closely with our local Friends group. They have been in place for over twenty years and they operate under the umbrella of our district Foundation. This allows the Friends to operate fairly independently, with their own bylaws, without the ongoing burden of a full 401(c)3. As an entity of the Foundation, our Friends group is allowed to raise their own funds. In these times of fiscal uncertainty, the Friends have been a lifeboat for our library, as well as our students, by supporting services well beyond those funded by the State. For example, our library is open on both weekend days funded in part through this organization. The other large project they undertake is an annual Textbook Scholarship program for students.
As the Library Director, my role is to be the liaison to the Friends group and provide a vision for the type of library we would like to have at Santa Barbara City College. The Library does most of the administrative aspects of the Friends, such as collecting money and sending letters and announcements. I also must cultivate a relationship between myself and the members of the Board. One element that is particularly important is I am in regular contact with the Board president – this makes certain we are on the same page as we move forward with projects. The Friends operate through a 7-member board alongside a wider body of Council Members who contribute annual dues to fund the projects. In order to help keep them larger body engaged, we hold three luncheons per year with a special speaker from campus – typically a professor who is doing something interesting or unique, but who also has a relationship with the library.
There are challenges associated with a functioning Friends group, but the passion and creativity of the Friends of the Luria Library has created a positive exchange. Simply because we are in Santa Barbara, doesn’t mean that our Friends are all huge donors to the college. In fact, the percentage of large donors among the Board and Council is very small. They are passionate about student engagement, student success, and the library.
Next steps…completing the Friends web site.
I don’ t normally read the Harvard Business Review, but a colleague at work brought the current issue to my attention because the cover said Reading Google’s Mind, and she knew of my fascination with innovation and with Google. The actual article is called Reverse Engineering Google’s Innovation Machine; it’s a pretty good read and fits in well with some of the ideas I’ve been exploring lately.
In the article, the model we might follow was called A Cultivated-Taste for Failure and Chaos. I love it!
A few weeks ago I was asked to come and speak to the marketing team of Laurel Springs School in Ojai, California because of some of the things we’ve been trying out in our library at Santa Barbara City College. I’ve taken some ideas from Google, and other successful companies, by trying to be nimble, exciting, and innovative. Of course, a library is a little different from a company but we can certainly take some queues from business. Continue reading
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