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).
Another complication for me has been that along with WMS comes WorldCat Local (WCL). This is one of the main reasons I wanted to move over to WMS, but I haven’t given myself enough training and understanding for WCL to fully configure and provide appropriate instruction to others. We are a small staff and, though I am the Library Director, most of the technology related aspects are my responsibility. The entire interlibrary loan process still needs to be setup to function easily for students. We have most of our databases included in the Knowledge Base (for resource discovery purposes), but I’m not understanding the search results clearly – what’s included, sorting, etc. Then there is entire issue of an OpenURL Resolver – I plugged in the information for our Ebsco account, but that isn’t a long-term solution. Do we need this? What is it’s function? Seemingly obvious answers that I don’t have right now (yes, I know I should know this stuff!). Clearly, I am still learning and floundering around somewhat.
Friday afternoon was spent finalizing an updated patron load from our Banner student system with the help our campus IT department. Fortunately, there is a report writing tool that will export student information in the needed XML format. Thank goodness! Though we have all the students from the summer load, this update is required for all the new students as well as for updating their expiration dates (everyone is expired right now!). I sent the file about 1pm on Friday and as of this moment the patrons have not been updated. We’re sitting on a big unknown for Monday morning.
And so here I am on Sunday morning reflecting on the arrival of thousands of students tomorrow and whether we are ready to checkout materials in the library.