On August 7, 2019, the Oesterle Library staff at North Central College hosted 53 attendees at the largest LIBRAS Knowledge Exchange (LKE) to date. After a welcome from NCC Provost Abdiodun Goke-Pariola, John Small provided an explanation of the work his staff had completed as part of the Vanguard process in spring and summer.
North Central College (NCC) was selected in March 2019 by CARLI (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois) as one of five “Vanguard Libraries” tasked with completing an accelerated test migration process. The Oesterle Library Staff dove into training materials and forms that enabled ExLibris to create test data in Alma and Primo VE. NCC was unique among the Vanguard Libraries—which also included the Newberry Library, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, University of Illinois Chicago, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign—because they were able to provide insights on the challenges and opportunities small to mid-size libraries will face in preparing for and transitioning to the Alma and Primo VE software.
More detailed exploration was kicked off by Belinda Cheek, Access Services Coordinator, who demonstrated how to access and navigate Alma via the sandbox environments. Then, Diana Canna, Catalog & Acquisitions Assistant, and Bronwen Heneghan, former Technical Services Coordinator (now Electronic Resources Librarian at Aurora University), demonstrated how to navigate acquisitions and resource management for physical and electronic items within Alma. Melissa Proulx, Coordinator of Digital and Outreach Services, spoke about how Constellation & Primo VE are expected to interact, which led into a demo of VE with Belinda Cheek. John Small closed out the morning session by acknowledging that the analytics portion of Alma could be a powerful tool within LIBRAS and CARLI as a whole depending on how we elect to share data, but they’re not yet ready to delve into this element of the program. The group broke for a 50 minute lunch and closed the time of exploration with tips for managing the work ahead from Ted Schwitzner, Senior Library Services Coordinator at CARLI, and Belinda Cheek.