All 37 member libraries of the Orbis Cascade Alliance will replace their current ILS and discovery systems with the Ex Libris Alma unified resource management system and Primo discovery solution, the Alliance announced today.
Following an extensive request for proposal process, the Orbis Cascade Alliance council of library directors decided to enter into a contract with library automation provider Ex Libris in July. Since then, the Alliance has been negotiating the details of the deal and assembling an implementation team, along with six working groups focused on cataloging, acquisitions, serials and ERM, circulation and resource sharing, discovery, and systems.
“For almost 20 years, we have been exploring the potential of deep collaboration and a mission that includes considering the combined collections of member institutions as one collection,” John F. Helmer, executive director of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, said in the announcement. “Beyond the strengths of Alma and Primo, we discovered a shared vision with Ex Libris that includes streamlined consortial functionality and the tools that will help Alliance members work together and direct resources toward the unique strengths of each library.”
Alliance members currently use a variety of ILS and discovery systems. Implementing Alma and Primo will migrate these libraries to the cloud-based system, which is delivered on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis. Users will be able to search the Alliance’s shared collections using a single search interface, and display results sorted with the ScholarRank relevance-ranking technology according to their individual academic disciplines and levels.
Last week, Helmer and Alliance Shared ILS Implementation Manager Lynn Chmelir had their first implementation kickoff meeting with the President of Ex Libris North America Mark Triest and Vice President for Professional Services Melissa Hilbert, according to a recent post by Chmelir on the Alliance’s Shared ILS Implementation site. “This was a very positive first meeting,” Chmelir writes. “ExLibris and the Alliance both see this project as a joint development to improve functionality and services and to model best practices.”
Ex Libris is in the process of reviewing the Alliance’s draft cohort plan, creating an Implementation Project Plan with target dates for implementation milestones, and suggesting things that member libraries can do to prepare for implementation, according to Chmelir’s post.
This post has been updated. Prior references to “Orbis” have been changed to “the Alliance,” at the request of the Orbis Cascade Alliance.