The 23-campus California State University system will launch a two-year migration project on October 5, 2015 with Ex Libris, an industry leader in integrated, next-generation shared library systems.
The CSU system currently uses a variety of library systems to manage their collections, support discovery of digital resources, and provide the back-end services that are needed to acquire resources on behalf of thousands of faculty and nearly 500,000 students.
By June 2017, all 23 campuses will be using a common platform – Ex Libris Alma, together with Ex Libris resource discovery system, Primo. In addition to increased efficiency and equity, this means that students and faculty will have easier access to the materials they need for their research and scholarship.
The Council of Library Deans (COLD) voted in October 2014 to adopt a unified library management system, and worked closely with Gerry Hanley, CSU’s Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Technology Services, to develop the RFP and ultimately select Ex Libris.
“This process has been visionary and transformational for COLD,” said Dean of Library and Information Access and COLD Chair Dr. Gale Etschmaier. “The ULMS project and our work together to make this vision a reality will change how the CSU libraries will work together to serve our diverse campuses and students.”
Vanguard Campus Pilots
A team of experienced library systems engineers and project managers at the Chancellor’s Office will support the data and workflow migrations. In addition, campus project leaders and functional experts will guide implementation through two major phases: a “Vanguard Campus” phase in which Fresno, Northridge, and San Jose, three of the larger campuses, will create a test environment to explore capabilities and configurations.
Single Wave Migration in 2017
The second phase of migration will begin in March 2016. Based on consultations with other libraries that have implemented a shared system, the CSU and Ex Libris have agreed to a single wave migration plan in which all campuses will migrate to the Ex Libris platform together in spring 2017. This option means a lengthier training and testing timeline than would have been possible otherwise.
Partners in Development
The system-wide project includes opportunities to develop Alma’s user interface, workflows, accessibility and ADA compliance. Ex Libris will also provide usage data for electronic resources via COUNTER reports in Alma Analytics by the end of 2017.
The Chancellor’s Office is leading the migration project. Brandon Dudley is the ULMS project director who is working in close collaboration with David Walker, the Director of Systemwide Digital Library Services. Project updates and details can be found on the project website: ulms.calstate.edu.
Previous stories about the ULMS project:
- June 26, 2015: California State University selects Ex Libris for Unified Library Management System
- June 26, 2015: The California State University System Joins the Ex Libris Alma and Primo Community (Ex Libris)
- October 2014: Unified Library Management System: The tech to make services simpler
- October 2014: Unified Library Management System: One platform, 23 campuses