Patch Cluster 2 for Symphony 3.3.1 was released a couple of months ago and fixes the problem with local toolbars. Locally created toolbars became nonfunctional after the initial upgrade to Symphony 3.3.1. back in January of 2010 and we've been waiting for this fix for a long time. IIS will load the patch into the test system the last week of August and, if all looks good, it will be loaded into production the following week. This patch delivers a new Workflows client. This means all workstations running Workflows will be prompted to update after the patch is installed.
Symphony 3.4 was released at the end of 2010 and contains a number of new features. Once Patch Cluster 2 for Symphony 3.3.1 is loaded into the production system, IIS will load Symphony 3.4 into the test system and then all departments will follow the standard procedures to test the new release and verify functionality. Some sites on the SirsiDynix listservs reported there were problems with LDAP authentication in Symphony 3.4 and we identified this as a major showstopper that prevented us from loading the upgrade earlier. Recently, our SirsiDynix Library Relations Manager, Lisa Witteman, reported that the LDAP problems were all local to the institutions and all of the problems previously reported were resolved. We are now able to schedule the upgrade.
Chris reviewed a few of the notable enhancements coming in the upgrade. They were:
The latest version of the Symphony 3.4 release notes has been posted to the SirsiDynix documentation on the library's website. Everyone is encouraged to review them in preparation for the upgrade.
Chris reviewed recent announcements by SirsiDynix regarding their product release plans. As they are working on the enhancements to their suite of software products, SirsiDynix reported that their development this year was built on five themes. The five themes are Social, Mobile, Communications, Cloud, and Analytics. For Social, they are putting more emphasis on digital resource integration and adding more social functions to their discovery products. One example of this is their recent release of a native Facebook application. For Mobile they are continuing to put more emphasis in support of mobile devices for the public, as well as staff, and are enhancing their BookMyne and PocketCirc applications. For Communications, they are improving their software to make better use of text messaging, chat, and push notifications. For Cloud they are promoting the services they offer in a cloud computing environment, and for Analytics they are enhancing the collection and presentation of metric data via improving such products as Director's Station. They also emphasized that their overarching theme under which all this development occurs is named BLUE. BLUE stands for Best Library User Experience.
Bob reported on the current state of the Director's Station migration and plans for update sessions. The migration was mostly done in June; however, subsequent to the completion of the migration, Bob found that some of the historic transaction data did not migrate properly. Some months of data were missing in some of the cubes such as All Checkouts Historical and All Activity Measures. Bob has been working with SirsiDynix to reload this data but it has taken a while. Some of the delays were caused by our power outages and other downtime this summer; however, we anticipate that these remaining issues will be resolved in early September. Once done, Bob, Tracey and Chris will begin work on planning the update sessions as well as revising the existing two-day training outline to reflect the new functionality. For existing users, the DS training team will host a couple of road shows in New Brunswick/Piscataway, Camden, and Newark to review the new features and functions. It will not be a hands-on session but will be show and tell that will demonstrate new features. Once these are done, Bob, Tracey, and Chris will resume training new users on Director's Station.
LIS team members reviewed statistics prepared by Bob Warwick on the number of titles added to our ILS since we migrated to SirsiDynix in 1997.
Chris reported on his attendance at a SirsiDynix Northeast Users Group conference held in June at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. The regional conference is a good low-cost alternative to learn about and network with SirsiDynix staff and fellow customers. The conference was well attended and included individuals from as far north as Canada and as far south as Georgia. SirsiDynix also sent seasoned veterans to the conference such as Berit Nelson, VP of Library Relations, as well as others in sales and support. Some updates learned at the regional conference were:
Chris reported on the status of the Vale Open Library System project. Currently the Vale OLS Implementation Team (VOIT) is installing test instances of open source discovery tools for review and comment by the Vale community. So far, VuFIND was installed and eXtensible Catalog is next on the list. VuFind may drop off the list because the implementation team subsequently learned that VuFind does not support consortial relationships well. BlackLight is also on the list to test but the VOIT needs to verify how well it supports consortia. Tibor Purger, Director of IIS, recently met with the VOIT to assist in specifying the server requirements for the Vale union ILS. The VOIT is working with Grace Agnew to draft charges to designated Vale subcommittees to prepare for data cleanup and circulation policy review.
The next quarterly LIS meeting will be held on Thursday, November 10 at 1:30 p.m. in the TSB conference room. The primary focus of this meeting will be to sign-off and prepare for the load of Symphony 3.4 in the production system during the Winter Break.