The Charles and JoAnn Lester Public Library of Nekoosa will be going live on LINKcat on January 3, 2017. Congratulations to the staff and community of Nekoosa for this accomplishment!
On Tuesday, May 27, the 4 Portage County Libraries will Go Live in Koha. Library staff will no longer be sending items to Madison-Central or using Direct CKO to fill holds for patrons at these libraries.
Starting Tuesday, when you scan an item barcode to fill a hold, the location information in the Hold Found pop-up will read as the following for the 4 libraries:
Portage County PL - Almond (ALM)
Portage County PL - Plover (PLO)
Portage County PL - Rosholt (ROS)
Portage County PL - Stevens Point (STP)
Guest post by Jean Anderson, CE Coordinator
Madison Public Library has been answering lots of questions about the new LINKcat on their Facebook page. I've seen lots of other libraries posting about the new LINKcat, too. Are you using your Facebook page, Twitter account, and web site to let your patrons know about the new LINKcat?
In addition to posting on Facebook, Oregon Public Library is conducting two half-day training sessions for staff prior to the migration and watching the training webinars and tutorials. In addition, there will be chocolate kisses (mmm… chocolate…) for staff and patrons during the week of the migration as a Thank You. Oregon staff are tie dying t-shirts and scarves to wear during the week of Go-Live (hey Susan – send us pictures!)
No time to tie dye? No problem – SCLS has LINKcat t-shirts (and other items, too) available from the Zazzle store.
These are some great ideas to start celebrating the new LINKcat! I know there are more great ideas out there – please share yours in the comments.
During the "cutover" period on April 15 and April 16, libraries will be using Koha Offline Circulation for checkout only. Libraries will not be able to do checkin on Offline Circulation. We will be phasing in checkin and running the Holds Queue report over the two Go Live dates (April 17 and April 18). The purpose of phasing in services is to make sure that SCLS staff are able to provide support and we do not yet know the impact of multiple libraries doing checkin and running holds queue reports in a short time span. Checkin also impacts Delivery. Bruce Smith is contacting libraries individually regarding special delivery schedules during the Cutover and Go live.
We will be using the SCLS Status wiki whenever possible to communicate with ILS libraries during the implementation period. All ILS library staff should become familiar with the status wiki in preparation for the Go Live.
Friday, April 15
ILS Libraries use Offlince circulation (checkout only)
Libraries should not upload Offline circulation transactions
Saturday, April 16
ILS Libraries use Offline circulation (checkout only)
Libraries should not upload Offline circulation transactions
At the end of the day, ILS Libraries will send SCLS staff Offline Circulation transactions (separate directions will be provided)
Sunday, April 17
Monday, April 18
Tuesday, April 19
Wednesday, April 20
This is a heads up that you will begin seeing materials with checkout dates well beyond the normal loan periods. This is because every library's calendar has January 13, 2011 through January 22, 2011 as close days. No items will become due during this range. The intent is to encourage patrons to keep materials at home during the cutover from Dynix to Koha (January 14-16, 2011). This was a recommendation from the ILS Circulation Services Committee at the May, 2010 meeting. PR materials for patrons will be forthcoming in early January. Libraries may modify these close days as they choose.
Here are preliminary details of the support SCLS will be offering during the Koha Go Live period.
Hours of Support
Beginning January 17, 2011 we will offer ILS support from 8am to 9pm M-F for the first 4 weeks following Go Live. We will also provide support on Saturdays through February 12, but the hours have yet to be set. ILS Staff will be answering the ILS Help Desk phone during all of these hours.
On Site Support
On the first week of Go Live we plan to have an SCLS staff member visit every library to provide on-site assistance. We will do this beginning Monday, January 17. In order to help us plan this, please read the Important Go Live Details blog post and complete the form indicating when you will be open by the end of the day, December 17.
We will have a LibLime employee on site at SCLS headquarters on January 17 and 18 to assist with resolving any problems with the system that might occur. Hopefully there will be no serious problems, but it will be nice to have this support should we need it.
The ILS web site "Get Help - ILS Support" page will have the details you need to report problems. Right now the only thing that is on there is the ILS Help Desk phone number. We will have the support forms in place prior to the transition from Dynix to Koha.
Go Live Triage
During the first few days following go live, we may need to prioritize problems if the volume is high. We may not be able to resolve everything in those first weeks. We have tracking systems in place that will allow us to do this and we can assure you that no issues will be lost or forgotten even if we can't get to them right away.
We are closing in on the final month of our Koha migration. This seems an appropriate time to provide an overiew of where we are at with the various aspects of this project.
We are close to receiving all of our final development and we are testing as fast as we can. We will then continue to work with LibLime/PTFS to fine-tune the projects based on the reports we provide them from testing. All development should be in place by the end of 2010 so that we have a stable database for you to do your final training in January (see under Training below). The training database will be upgraded at that time. LibLime/PTFS is also working on the response time issues and they are working with all of our third party vendors to make sure those products work well with Koha. Please see the Development Projects status page if you are interested to see where we are at with all of the projects (ILS web site login and password required).
Preparation for Go Live
SCLS is preparing to support the ILS libraries during the Go Live on January 17 and 18. We will be providing a variety of ways to assist with what will most likely be a stressful period for the libraries. Please read the recent blog post regarding the Go Live details. It is important that ILS libraries read this post as soon as possible as we are asking for information from you by Friday, December 17.
Koha Comments and Questions
We have continued to receive great comments and questions via the Koha Comments and Questions form. However we have had difficulty in keeping up with answering them! We have discussed this with the ILS Committee and they have agreed that it would be OK if we do not address each submission directly. We will either add them to a FAQ or incorporate them in to our training. Please do continue to submit your comments and questions as we will continue to review them and they are very helpful to us.
The hands-on serials workshops are being conducted now. All other hands-on workshops are completed. For the next several weeks, we recommend that staff continue to use the Koha Training database to familiarize themselves with navigation and the basic functions. When the training database is updated with our new development in early January, that would be a good time to conduct final in-depth training in the library. To assist with this we will be producing a variety of to-the-point webinars and online tutorials to address new development and specific functions. Staff will be able to watch these on demand. These will be posted on the Koha Training page. Now would be a good time to watch the webinars already recorded and also found on that page. If you have suggestion for training topics, please use the Koha Comments and Questions form and include the words "Training topics" at the beginning of the Comments box.
We have begun the final cutover phase of the data extraction. On December 9, all bibliographic and item records were extracted from Dynix. We are about to begin testing item records. See the Migration Events page for specific details of the remainder of the data migration.
PR and Patron Education
The SCLS PR and Patron Education committees have been busy too. The PR Committee is working on ways to inform patrons of the various down-time and the changes coming to LINKcat. The Patron Education Committee is developing materials such as bookmarks and online tutorials to assist patrons with using the upgraded LINKcat.
SCLS Technology Staff
The technology staff are working on various aspects of the migration as well. For a peek behind the scenes, see the recent TechBits post. It would be fair to say that virtually everyone at SCLS has been involved in the LINK to Koha migration in one way or another.
As our migration date gets closer, we wanted to share some more information regarding January 17th-18th. Please read this entire blog post for important details on the actual Go-Live process.
But first, we also need your help! For us to know who will need support on the 17th and 18th, please take a minute to fill out the form at http://bit.ly/gGZEaf to let us know which day you will first be open to the public (17th or 18th) and what time you will be opening. This information will help us provide the best support possible during the migration days. If possible, please complete the form by the end of the day, Friday, December 17. (Hint: read the blog before you fill out the form.)
As you know, the migration will be phased in over two days, with some libraries closed on the 17th for Martin Luther King Day.
We’re sure that things will not go perfectly on these days, and there will be information you’ll need to know. Our plan is to update the SCLS status wiki throughout the two days with information on system performance, known concerns, and other announcements. The status wiki can be found here: http://sclsstatus.pbworks.com/
We’ll be sure to provide links to the wiki from our website on migration days, but feel free to bookmark it and share the link with staff now.
Our hope, of course, is that there will be no major problems impacting performance of the system on either of these days. However, realistically, we cannot know for sure how the system will respond once it is in production.
Providing good service to patrons when libraries open their doors must be our top priority on these two days. We want to make sure the system is stable and working well before other activities are done on the production system. To help with this, we are asking libraries to do the following:
If your library is open on January 17, please hold off on clearing your bookdrop until we are sure that the system is stable and handling patron checkout and other patron-related functions. We understand that it’s a critical activity that needs to be done as soon as possible, so we will give the okay to do this as soon as possible. We’ll post the go-ahead to the status wiki.
If your library is closed on January 17th, please do not come in to clear your bookdrop on the 17th or do anything on the production system. On the 18th, please check the status wiki for updates before you begin your work. We may need to delay clearing bookdrops or there may be other important information you need to know before you do anything on the production system.
If your library is closed on January 17th but you plan to have staff inservice that day, please do not use the production system to do any type of training with staff. We will not be able to provide any support to libraries that are not open on the 17th, and we are concerned that any activity on the production system from closed libraries could make troubleshooting problems more difficult. The training system (see the main ILS Support web page for links and login information) will be available and will be updated with all of the new development, and you are welcome to continue to use this system throughout Go-Live.
**Updated blog post, 12/18/2010**
I have added a closed date range of "Jan 13, 2011 - Jan. 22, 2011" to every library's calendar in Dynix. I will also add that same closed range in every library's calendar in Koha.
The functionality of the Koha Offline Circulation utility is very similar to what libraries have been used to with PC Reliance. Please, do not check in items using Offline Circulation.
I will have documentation posted in the Koha Circulation Manual shortly. The Tech staff will be contacting individual libraries about Offline Circulation installation and receipt printer set-up.
Information will be coming soon from SCLS Delivery regarding the handling of materials during the downtime.
We are starting to hear some concerns about the migration and about communication regarding the migration, so I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about some of the ways we’re communicating with you and how you can communicate with us.
First, we do want to hear your concerns! We may not be able to fix everything right away, but we will save all suggestions and concerns for potential future development. While the development to be included in go-live is already decided, we are committed to doing more development in 2011 and beyond.
To make the product as functional as possible before go-live, we need your help! As you try out Koha, we would like you to submit your questions and comments via the SCLS Koha Comments and Questions form. Using this form helps us to organize questions and allows us to respond to them as quickly as possible. We are using these questions as the foundation for our LINK2Koha Migration FAQ. We will be adding a lot to this FAQ in the next few weeks. We’ll send out reminders about the FAQ via the blog and email, and you can always check it often to see what’s new!
I am always available to talk about any concerns regarding the migration. If you want to chat about something and you don’t want to use the form, please call me (608-242-4713), email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or see my SCLS Contacts page and pick your preferred method of communication. For example, when I am at my desk, I’m also available for a chat on Meebo.
I’ve heard that canceling the ILS Committee meetings has caused some frustration, since these meetings were a forum for clusters to ask questions or express concerns. In lieu of the ILS meetings, if you would like me to attend your county librarian’s meeting or cluster meeting for a question and answer session, just let me know!
As we approach our Koha Go Live date, I would like to take the opportunity to assure everyone that we are all in this together. The SCLS ILS Team and the ILS libraries are working together toward the same goal—going live on Koha on January 17th and 18th with a well-trained library staff and our critical functionality in place. We realize that things may not go as smoothly as we would like and there are going to be bumps in the road. But the ILS Team will do its best to address as many issues as possible.
Vicki Teal Lovely