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Next Gen ILS Implementation

This is for FALSC's Alma/Primo VE Implementation Project.

Organizational Framework for Implementation

Organizational Framework for the ILS Implementation

Introduction and Overview

This internal organizational document is designed to explain the proposed organizational framework for implementing the next generation integrated library system for Florida’s 12 public universities and 28 state colleges. While the authority to implement this system lies with the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative (FALSC), a part of the Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), successful implementation requires assistance and guidance from representatives from the universities and colleges. The goal of the project and organizational structure outlined in this document is to ensure a smooth transition from the current suite of products and services provided by FALSC to the new products and services. FALSC and FLVC fully recognize that the ILS is mission-critical to the day-to-day operations of all of the public college and university libraries, and that meeting their needs is a critical measure of success. Once implemented, these new products will better meet the needs of library staff, and provide the state’s public universities and colleges with a more advanced and comprehensive library system for their students and faculty to use.

The core of this organizational framework outlines an explicit partnership between the library staff of the 40 institutions and the current FALSC staff. Its purpose is to explain how FALSC and its members will organize themselves to effectively accomplish this monumental task. This framework is designed to balance the requirement of allowing the desired amount of library staff participation, but still streamline the decision making process so that the project can move forward with an on schedule switch to production. The exact Go Live date will be coordinated with the member libraries’ activities surrounding the fiscal year.

In this structure, the main body responsible for the entire process will be the Implementation Team. It will be assisted by eight (8) Working Groups who will be specifically tasked to advise on various components of the project. These working groups will report their progress to and take guidance from corresponding Discussion Groups as well as to any relevant MCLS Standing Committee. The Implementation Team will report all progress to the Members Council on Library Services (MCLS) and its Executive Committee. The Steering Committee will provide oversight to ensure all high-level deadlines and milestones are met. Each of these components is explained in detail within this document.

Also included are some preliminary logistical information on how FALSC will carry out this process, including training, communication, and how meetings will be conducted.

Every institution should encourage their staff to participate in this process as much as possible, whether it is on a working group or by tuning in to the various discussion groups. FALSC will strive to ensure that all staff stay informed on the progress as we move forward in implementing these new services.

This document is subject to updating and changes as more is learned about the new system

Decision-Making Structure

Implementation Team

Purpose: To oversee the specific project deliverables, along with the policies and workflows necessary to successfully implement the system.

Membership: Twenty-one (21) members. Project Co-Leads (2), Project Coordinator (1), SUS and FCS MCLS representatives (2), FALSC liaisons to the Working Groups (8), Chair of each Working Group (8)

Meetings: Usually bi-weekly to weekly via Webex, face-to-face meetings as necessary. Governance: Oversees all work done by the working groups and the FALSC Technical Team. Provides Regular Updates to: Members Council on Library Services, its Executive Committee and the local ILS Coordinators.

Provides High-Level Recommendations to: Steering Committee.

Description: The Implementation Team will be the main decision-making body for specific project deliverables, along with the policies and workflows necessary to successfully implement the system. All activity from the working groups will be discussed with the team by the chairs. The Implementation Team will also recommend any work that may need to be done between the working groups. It will be led by two Project Managers, Ellen Bishop and Dave Whisenant. This group will report all progress to the Executive Committee and MCLS as the success is mission critical for the member libraries and their users. Any recommendations significantly affecting requirements for FALSC/FLVC resources, funding, or technical infrastructure, or that may impact the overall timeline or major deliverables that FALSC communicates to the legislature, will need to be brought forward for discussion with the Steering Committee.

Steering Committee

Purpose: To ensure that the expectations of the Implementation Team and statewide stakeholders are in alignment, and that all high-level deadlines and milestones for the project are met; to make commitments of FALSC/FLVC resources, funding, or technical infrastructure. Statewide stakeholders include the legislature as well as various high-level groups in academia (e.g., Board of Governors, Council of Presidents, Council of Instructional Affairs, and college and university IT and business affairs councils).

Membership: FLVC CEO (1), FALSC Executive Director (1), FLVC IT Director (1), MCLS Representatives (2), Chair of FLVC Executive Advisory Council (1)

Responsibility: Final decision-making authority

Meetings: At least monthly via Webex, face-to-face meetings as necessary.

Provides Regular Updates to: The legislature as well as to various high-level groups in academia (e.g., Board of Governors, Council of Presidents, Council of Instructional Affairs, and college and university IT and business affairs councils)

Receives Recommendations from: Implementation Team

Description: The Steering Committee will be the final decision-making authority on issues related to Next- Gen ILS implementation, although most issues are expected to be resolved at the Implementation Team or Working Group level. The Steering Committee will focus on issues significantly affecting requirements for FALSC/FLVC resources, funding, or technical infrastructure or that may impact the overall timeline or major deliverables for which FALSC is responsible to the legislature. This is the primary group communicating with statewide stakeholders about the progress and expectations of this project.

Working Groups

Eight (8) working groups covering the general areas of the system will be formed in order to advise and make decisions on their area. The chair of each working group will sit on the Implementation Team. Most of the working groups are aligned with a standing committee. Those will report regularly to their respective committee. All working groups will also be responsible for communicating with their respective Discussion group as well. Any working group may form specialty sub-groups, as needed.

Membership to the Working Groups is preferred to be no more than 8 participants plus a chair, subject to Executive Committee approval. A balance between college and university staff is encouraged, when appropriate. The members will represent the state-wide experts in their specific subject area. Population of the Working Groups will begin with contacting the previous Working Group members and their dean/director to see if they are interested in participating on the new Working Group. Those interested will not need to apply. For the remaining open slots, candidates will be asked to complete an application form signed by their dean or director, with final selection made by the Executive Committee. FALSC staff will be assigned to assist each Working Group in their work.

Working groups will be encouraged to interact with other working groups as needed, especially on services that overlap several groups. Working Group members may be asked to be a liaison to another working group in order to ensure that a particular service is adequately addressed.

All members are expected to be active participants in their Working Group. Expectations will be clearly set at an initial orientation meeting of each group, and members that are not fully participating in the work of the group may be asked to leave so that a replacement can be found.

Systems/Reports Working Group

Membership: Chair plus 8 members.

Proposed Charge: To oversee the overall development and delivery of reports, access and permissions, printing, batchloading, data conversion, and interoperability with enterprise systems (Banner, PeopleSoft, etc.)

E-Resources Management Working Group

Membership: Chair plus 8 members

Proposed Charge: To oversee the implementation of the electronic resource management functionality (ERM).

Circulation/Resource Sharing Working Group

Membership: Chair plus 8 members

Proposed Charge: To oversee the development of all circulation and interlibrary loan related functionality, including patron data, check out procedures, fines and notices, data conversion and relevant reports.

Joint-Use Working Group

Membership: Chair plus 8 members

Proposed Charge: To oversee the development of services and policies related to joint-use facilities, namely those that involve college and university institutions. It is expected that the group will have expertise in systems, cataloging, circulation, and resource sharing. The group will strive to have a representative from each type of joint-use partnership.

Cataloging/Authorities Working Group

Membership: Chair plus 8 members

Proposed Charge: To oversee the development of all cataloging activities, all items and holdings data, data conversion and any relevant reports. This working group will also oversee the implementation of authority control and all clean-up work that may be involved.

Acquisitions/Serials Working Group

Membership: Chair plus 8 members

Proposed Charge: To oversee the development of all acquisitions functionality, the conversion of current acquisitions data into the new system and all relevant reports. This working group will also oversee all functionality related to serials including check in and pattern records.

Discovery Working Group

Membership: Chair plus 8 members (this group may be larger due to previous structure)

Proposed Charge: To oversee the development of the new discovery tool’s public interface, including the look and feel of the union catalog as well as to make recommendations on how each institution sets up its own local interface. This group will also focus on usability testing and instructional design for the discovery interface. They will also focus on the development of the new discovery tool’s back-end configuration, including bib records, data-mapping for MARC and non-MARC data, OAI-PMH harvesting, knowledge base configuration, link resolution, and authentication.

Training Working Group

Membership: Chair plus 8 members

Proposed Charge: To oversee the development and delivery of all training activities associated with this implementation, including the development and distribution of all documentation.

Institutional Participation

Because participation in the working groups is limited, library staff will be asked to become involved in this project in several other ways outlined below:

Discussion Groups

For every working group, there will be a corresponding discussion group that is open to interested staff at all institutions. Members of the local libraries’ implementation teams should participate in all Discussion Groups pertinent to their local role(s). A listserv will be created for each discussion group, and all working groups will be required to post notes from their meetings there as well as any questions or concerns on their related topics. It is anticipated that many of the working groups will want to have periodic Webex sessions where progress can be reported and live discussion about configuration and workflow decisions can take place. Library staff will be encouraged to participate in these discussion groups by signing on to the listservs where they have expertise and actively participate in the discussion.

The corresponding Discussion Groups are:

  • Acquisitions / Serials Discussion Group
  • Cataloging / Authorities Discussion Group
  • Circulation / Resource Sharing Discussion Group
  • Discovery Interface Discussion Group
  • E-Resources Management Discussion Group
  • Joint Use Discussion Group
  • Systems / Reports Discussion Group
  • Training Discussion Group

ILS Coordinators

FALSC is asking that every institution designate one individual as the “ILS Coordinator.” This person, along with the dean or director, will serve as the primary contacts for all information regarding the project. They will act as a conduit for information coming from the Implementation Team to the library staff and can communicate to the team any problems or concerns their institution may have. The coordinator will facilitate the creation of the local implementation team so that all staff are aware of the progress and implementation decisions. It is expected that each local implementation team will be structured so as to span the institution’s branch libraries/campuses and/or special libraries, so that the needs of the entire institution are reflected. Finally, the ILS Coordinator and/or dean/director should be responsible for communicating with the local institutional leadership (CIO, provost, VP, etc.) about the status of the implementation and any local issues that may need to be addressed.

FLVC/FALSC Participation

In addition to representation on the Implementation Team, FALSC/FLVC staff will play a vital part in the success of this project. In many cases, they will work with the vendor to ensure that all aspects of the new system are successfully converted from the current system and that everything is operational. They will assist in training activities, both in-person and online. They will also coordinate the dissemination of all documentation.

Technical Team

To organize all staff activities for this project, a Technical Team will be formed. Its membership will include all relevant FLVC staff in both the Gainesville and Tallahassee offices. All work done by this team will be in conjunction with and guided by the Implementation Team. It will be responsible for much of the daily interaction with the vendor regarding the migration, set up, data loading and all other aspects of implementing the system. This includes assisting with the data conversion, initial setup of all components, reports, hardware and software support, etc. Some staff will also work with members of the Systems Working Group and with institutional IT staff [as identified by the Dean/Director] in order to obtain patron information and set up connections to enterprise systems such as Banner and PeopleSoft.

Implementation Logistics


Training will be provided via a combination of Ex Libris provided online web-based recorded training, regional group training, and online webinars. FALSC will work with the Training Working Group to develop a training plan that meets library needs.


Communication is essential since this project impacts the day to day activities of staff in all of the 40 libraries. We anticipate using the following methods to staff informed:

  • FLVC/FALSC website – There will be a link on the main page to information about the next-gen ILS Project. This page can be used to give a high-level update on the project.
  • ILS LibGuides – LibGuides will be created to house any internal documents for the Implementation Team and the various Working Groups. This will include notes from meetings, documentation and specifications, etc. The LibGuide will assist in keeping work from these groups organized and available.
  • Discussion Group Listservs – All working groups will have corresponding Discussion groups which will include active listservs. These lists will be used to show what they are working on and to prompt discussion. Working Group members are expected to actively discuss their work on these listservs, and to encourage feedback from the Discussion Group members.
  • New CRM (Help Desk) Queues – Special queues will be created for library staff to ask data migration and workflow questions in all the functional areas.
  • Updates to the Committees – In addition, the working groups are responsible for keeping their respective standing committees up-to-date on all progress.
  • Updates to the Members Council –Formal updates on all progress will be given to the Executive Committee at their monthly meetings as well as to the MCLS at their quarterly meetings. In addition, regular announcements will be sent to all Members Council representatives to ensure continuous communication is given about the project.


We anticipate numerous types of meetings throughout the project. Some examples are initial kick-off meetings, data conversion, working groups, discussion groups, ILS Coordinators and the Implementation Team. It is assumed that most of the meetings for the Implementation Team and the working groups will be done virtually using Webex. There may be occasions where it will be advantageous to meet in-person to discuss a particular topic or to solve a major issue. Any in-person meetings will be noticed as far in advance as possible and will try to be in a central location.