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Library technology funding, planning, and deployment

Library Technology
Funding, Planning, and
Deployment
Edward Iglesias
Stephen F. Austin State University, USA

A volume in the Advances
in Library and Information
Science (ALIS) Book Series


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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Iglesias, Edward G., 1966- editor.
Title: Library technology funding, planning, and deployment / Edward
Iglesias, editor.
Description: Hershey PA : Information Science Reference, [2017] | Includes
bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: LCCN 2016044778| ISBN 9781522517351 (hardcover) | ISBN
9781522517368 (ebook)
Subjects: LCSH: Libraries--Information technology. | Libraries--Information
technology--Purchasing. | Academic libraries--United States--Case studies.
Classification: LCC Z678.9 .L5187 2017 | DDC 025/.02--dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.
loc.gov/2016044778
This book is published in the IGI Global book series Advances in Library and Information Science
(ALIS) (ISSN: 2326-4136; eISSN: 2326-4144)
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All work contributed to this book is new, previously-unpublished material. The views expressed in
this book are those of the authors, but not necessarily of the publisher.


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Titles in this Series

For a list of additional titles in this series, please visit: www.igi-global.com

Academic Library Development and Administration in China
Lian Ruan (Illinois Fire Service Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
USA) Qiang Zhu (Peking University, China) and Ying Ye (Nanjing University, China)
Information Science Reference • copyright 2017 • 391pp • H/C (ISBN: 9781522505501)
• US $195.00 (our price)
Handbook of Research on Emerging Technologies for Digital Preservation and Information Modeling
Alfonso Ippolito (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy) and Michela Cigola (University of
Cassino and South Latium, Italy)
Information Science Reference • copyright 2017 • 649pp • H/C (ISBN: 9781522506805)
• US $275.00 (our price)
Information Seeking Behavior and Challenges in Digital Libraries
Adeyinka Tella (University of Ilorin, Nigeria)
Information Science Reference • copyright 2016 • 359pp • H/C (ISBN: 9781522502968)
• US $185.00 (our price)
E-Discovery Tools and Applications in Modern Libraries
Egbert de Smet (University of Antwerp, Belgium) and Sangeeta Dhamdhere (Modern College of Arts, Science and Commerce, India)
Information Science Reference • copyright 2016 • 401pp • H/C (ISBN: 9781522504740)
• US $195.00 (our price)
Technology-Centered Academic Library Partnerships and Collaborations
Brian Doherty (New College of Florida, USA)
Information Science Reference • copyright 2016 • 309pp • H/C (ISBN: 9781522503231)
• US $165.00 (our price)
Space and Organizational Considerations in Academic Library Partnerships and Collaborations
Brian Doherty (New College of Florida, USA)
Information Science Reference • copyright 2016 • 367pp • H/C (ISBN: 9781522503262)
• US $200.00 (our price)

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Table of Contents

Preface. ................................................................................................................. xi
;

;

Acknowledgment................................................................................................xiii
;

;

Chapter 1
Don’t Make Us Use the “Get Along Shirt”: Communication and Consensus
Building in an RFP Process.................................................................................... 1
Veronica Kenausis, Western Connecticut State University, USA
Debbie Herman, Manchester Community College, USA
;

;

;

;

;

;

;

Chapter 2
Moving from Local to Global via the Integrated Library System: CostSavings, ILS Management, Teams, and End-Users.............................................. 23
Laura Kohl, Bryant University, USA
Patricia Lombardi, Bryant University, USA
Mary Moroney, Bryant University, USA
;

;

;

;

;

;

;

;

;

Chapter 3
When Sales Talk Meets Reality: Implementing a Self-Checkout Kiosk.............. 36
DeeAnn Allison, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, USA
;

;

;

;

;

Chapter 4
Selection Process for Free Open Source Software. .............................................. 55
David William Schuster, Texas Woman’s University, USA
;

;

;

;

;

Chapter 5
From Summon to SearchPlus: The RFP Process for a Discovery Tool at the
MSU Libraries...................................................................................................... 72
Lee Sochay, Michigan State University Libraries, USA
Ranti Junus, Michigan State University Libraries, USA
;

;

;

;

;

;

;


Chapter 6
Funding a Gamification Machine......................................................................... 99
Jason Bengtson, Kansas State University Libraries, USA
;

;

;

;

;

Chapter 7
Insourcing and Outsourcing of Library Technology.......................................... 113
Edward Iglesias, Stephen F. Austin State University, USA
;

;

;

;

;

Chapter 8
Funding a Makerspace: Making It Up as You Go Along................................... 124
Edward Iglesias, Stephen F. Austin University, USA
;

;

;

;

;

Related References............................................................................................ 136
;

;

Compilation of References............................................................................... 192
;

;

About the Contributors.................................................................................... 252
;

;

Index. ................................................................................................................. 255
;

;


Detailed Table of Contents

Preface. ................................................................................................................. xi
;

;

Acknowledgment................................................................................................xiii
;

;

Chapter 1
Don’t Make Us Use the “Get Along Shirt”: Communication and Consensus
Building in an RFP Process.................................................................................... 1
Veronica Kenausis, Western Connecticut State University, USA
Debbie Herman, Manchester Community College, USA
;

;

;

;

;

;

;

A request for proposal (RFP) process is daunting and fraught with the potential
for misunderstandings, disagreements, and the pursuit of individual agendas. An
RFP process for a new, large, and loosely connected state consortium is all of that
and more. This is the story of how the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
(CSCU) embarked upon the journey of contracting for a joint integrated library
system and discovery layer. The authors describe in detail how the project began and
how a successful conclusion was reached, while offering practical advice gleaned
from these experiences for institutions and consortia who may be considering a
similar project.
;

Chapter 2
Moving from Local to Global via the Integrated Library System: CostSavings, ILS Management, Teams, and End-Users.............................................. 23
Laura Kohl, Bryant University, USA
Patricia Lombardi, Bryant University, USA
Mary Moroney, Bryant University, USA
;

;

;

;

;

;

;

;

;

In an era of budget constraints as well as next generation technologies - moving
from a consortium based and administrated shared ILS (integrated library system) to
one that can be managed in-house allows for substantial cost savings, team oriented
opportunities for training and growth, and service improvements for library patrons.
This chapter will provide background on one university library’s decision to move


from a local consortium based catalog with a shared and centrally administered
back-end to a global catalog with the ability to personalize administration for a
single library. Background on institutional culture, key stakeholders, benefits for
library staff and end-user will be discussed.
;

Chapter 3
When Sales Talk Meets Reality: Implementing a Self-Checkout Kiosk.............. 36
DeeAnn Allison, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, USA
;

;

;

;

;

Implementing new technology can be challenging when it involves multiple
departments across an institution and relies on interoperability with more than
one vendor partner. This chapter discusses the implementation of a self-checkout
kiosk in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Libraries that also collects
fine payments via credit cards. The process took eight months to complete and was
interrupted because of several issues caused by miscommunication between vendors,
the University departments, and Library staff, and it became further complicated by
changes in credit card regulations. This chapter explores the issues that arose from
kiosk purchase through implementation and provides recommendations that will
help other libraries implementing new technologies.
;

Chapter 4
Selection Process for Free Open Source Software. .............................................. 55
David William Schuster, Texas Woman’s University, USA
;

;

;

;

;

This chapter will discuss concerns a library may consider in selecting Open Source
software. The author will review all aspects of a needs assessment, along with
considerations for the sustainability of an open source project. Discussions about
technical abilities, identify options a library might consider, installation and usability
issues, and getting involved with an open source community. There are ways a
library can get involved with open source software and contribute to a community
without providing programming. Going with open source can help save money, but
also help the library decide the direction it wants to keep its community engaged.
;

Chapter 5
From Summon to SearchPlus: The RFP Process for a Discovery Tool at the
MSU Libraries...................................................................................................... 72
Lee Sochay, Michigan State University Libraries, USA
Ranti Junus, Michigan State University Libraries, USA
;

;

;

;

;

;

;

This chapter examines and details the RFP process that the MSU Libraries undertook
for the implementation of a discovery tool. The chapter will look at each step in
the process and focus on the tasks involved, the reasons for those tasks, how they
fit the overall objective, and how they were used to build consensus. Funding and


sustainability are implied as this project came as a directive from library administration
and sustainability is dependent on the performance of the discovery tool. The
evaluation of performance is part of an ongoing project in which two reports have
been generated pointing to the success in the usage goals of the discovery tool.
Issues and planning techniques will be expanded in each of the proposed sections
of the chapter.
;

Chapter 6
Funding a Gamification Machine......................................................................... 99
Jason Bengtson, Kansas State University Libraries, USA
;

;

;

;

;

The most intractable problems demand the most creative solutions. This chapter
describes the process of funding a presentation machine designed to improve
engagement at library events such as health fairs. It details the considerations
that went into budgeting, funding and designing the hardware itself as well as the
original game that ran on the machine. The chapter includes recommended points
of particular attention for the reader, with the aim of assisting other information
professionals in successfully pursuing similar projects.
;

Chapter 7
Insourcing and Outsourcing of Library Technology.......................................... 113
Edward Iglesias, Stephen F. Austin State University, USA
;

;

;

;

;

This article traces the movement of library technology from in-house systems created
and maintained by library personnel to outsourced products bought from and largely
controlled by vendors. As well as documenting these changes observations will be
made concerning strategic advantages and disadvantages of this move. Focus will be
limited to six areas of library technology: OPAC, Discovery Layer, MARC Records,
Bindery, Acquisitions and ERM (Electronic Resources Management). Some may
argue that these are all components of a central ILS that are created and available.
This is true in some cases but not others. For example, Innovative Interfaces has
always had an Acquisitions module whereas other ILSs have not. Many libraries
still use a spreadsheet or other method to keep track of serials where others have
migrated to an ERM. Individual use cases will be covered to demonstrate the benefits
and shortcomings of each system.
;

Chapter 8
Funding a Makerspace: Making It Up as You Go Along................................... 124
Edward Iglesias, Stephen F. Austin University, USA
;

;

;

;

;

The current methods for procuring funding for makerspaces are varied and haphazard.
This chapter discusses what those in the field are doing to get makerspaces funded
and their plans for continued funding.
;


Related References............................................................................................ 136
;

;

Compilation of References............................................................................... 192
;

;

About the Contributors.................................................................................... 252
;

;

Index. ................................................................................................................. 255
;

;


xi

Preface

The origin of this book came from the author’s personal experiences, detailed in
the chapter “Funding a Makerspace,” with the lessons learned when trying to acquire
new technology in a library. Libraries are conservative institutions of necessity,
being traditionally in the business of securing books and journals for access in
perpetuity. When the shift is made to a digital collection model and the libraries
mission is expanded to meet the needs of its community there will be stumbles as
new roads are explored. For many libraries the zenith of technological complexity
was the ILS or Integrated Library System. This system allowed for cataloging,
circulation and discovery of items among other activities. As a result, a model was
built where a vendor would present a product that would more or less fill the needs
of the library. This process of going out to bid with a Request for Proposal was so
onerous that most libraries dreaded the thought of changing ILS vendors even when
the product was clearly lacking. Over time this became the status quo for libraries,
first one would choose a vendor, second one would stick with that vendor unless
there was drastic need for change. For their part vendors worked with libraries focusing more on customer relation than research. After all, librarians liked stability,
if the product changed too much there would be complaints.
We are in a different world now. With the domination of electronic resources over
print, and the ILS being unable to address this change, libraries have been forced
to seek other solutions. Often this solution comes in the form of a discovery layer.
The chapters “Don’t Make Us Wear the Get Along Shirt,” “Moving from Local to
Global via the Integrated Library System: Cost-Savings, ILS Management, Teams,
and End-Users,” and “From Summon to Search Plus” focus on two very different
approaches taken to acquiring and implementing this technology. Another great
trend has been the adoption of Open Source software and its use in creating information products. The chapters “Selection Process for Free Open Source Software,”
“Funding a Gamification Machine,” and “Insourcing and Outsourcing of Library
Technology” all touch on this topic. Finally, there is my short chapter on “Funding
a Makerspace.” This goes into detail about how acquiring really new technology
can be perplexing for purchasing departments and library administrators.


xii

The purpose of this book is a call to libraries that their way of doing business
is hopelessly antiquated. New technologies do not lend themselves to old vendor
models and there is a need for more agility and speed in the purchasing process. As
libraries struggle to find relevancy those who are leading those changes will need
help from those that hold the purse strings and understand how business has been
done in the past. They must not be held back from trying something new by those
comfortable with systems now obsolete.


xiii

Acknowledgment

This book would not have been possible without the help and encouragement of the
members of the Editorial Advisory Board. Their work in seeking out chapters, reviewing, and editing has been invaluable. They are Arianna Schlegel, Jenny Innes,
Laura Kohl, Marshall Breeding, and Ranti Junus.
Thank you so much for your hard work.
Edward Iglesias
Stephen F. Austin University, USA


1

Chapter 1

Don’t Make Us Use the
“Get Along Shirt”:

Communication and Consensus
Building in an RFP Process
Veronica Kenausis
Western Connecticut State University, USA
Debbie Herman
Manchester Community College, USA

ABSTRACT
A request for proposal (RFP) process is daunting and fraught with the potential
for misunderstandings, disagreements, and the pursuit of individual agendas. An
RFP process for a new, large, and loosely connected state consortium is all of that
and more. This is the story of how the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
(CSCU) embarked upon the journey of contracting for a joint integrated library
system and discovery layer. The authors describe in detail how the project began and
how a successful conclusion was reached, while offering practical advice gleaned
from these experiences for institutions and consortia who may be considering a
similar project.

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1735-1.ch001
Copyright ©2017, IGI Global. Copying or distributing in print or electronic forms without written permission of IGI Global is prohibited.


Don’t Make Us Use the “Get Along Shirt”

PHASE 1: GEARING UP
2012 through November 2014

SETTING THE SCENE
Across the country, state supported higher education has undergone major changes
over the last 10 years. After decades of steady growth in student enrollment, the
trend began to reverse itself, ironically, in 2011, the year a merger of two of the three
systems of public higher education in Connecticut took place (National Center for
Education Statistics, 2016). College enrollment numbers have been falling nationally since 2011. The oft cited reasons for this include a decline in the number of
traditional college-aged students and an improving job market (Thomason, 2015).
This downward enrollment trend combined with a steady decline in state funding
of higher education over the past 25 years led the administrations of public colleges
and universities as well as state governments to seek efficiencies and cost savings to
address budget shortfalls (Carlson, 2016; Berrett, 2015; 25 years of declining state
support for public colleges, 2014). Public systems of higher education that relied
too heavily perhaps on enrollment growth and tuition increases as a means to offset
declining state support found themselves in a difficult bind.
This was indeed the case in Connecticut. Prior to 2011, there were four distinct
entities in the state:
1. The University of Connecticut (UConn): The state’s flagship land grant university, consisting of a main campus and several branch campuses, governed
by its own Board of Trustees;
2. The Connecticut State University System (CSUS): Consisting of four regional
independent universities (Central, Eastern, Southern, and Western), governed
by a separate Board of Trustees;
3. The Connecticut Community Colleges system (CCC): Including 12 independent institutions scattered all over the state, and also governed by a separate
Board; and, finally,
4. Charter Oak State College: “...the state’s only public, online, degree-granting
institution, [that] provides affordable, diverse and alternative opportunities for
adults to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. The College’s
mission is to validate learning acquired through traditional and nontraditional
experiences, including its own courses” (Charter Oak State College, 2016).

2


Don’t Make Us Use the “Get Along Shirt”

The State of Connecticut felt the full effects of the Great Recession somewhat
later than most other states and was thus slower to begin its recovery. The budgetary pressures exerted upon the state due to high unemployment, poor stock market
performance, and a sagging real estate market made for a particularly contentious
2011 biennial budget cycle (Keating, 2011). Therefore, in an attempt to address an
ongoing budget crisis and management issues, the Connecticut General Assembly
reformed the higher education system by disbanding the Boards of Trustees for the
CSUS and CCC, and in their place established one Board of Regents (BOR) via
Public Act 11-48 (Connecticut General Assembly, 2011a) as amended by Public
Act 11-61 (Connecticut General Assembly, 2011b), thereby bringing together the
governance structure for the two previously independent systems, including Charter
Oak State College (Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, 2015) to form the
Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System (CSCU). UConn remained a
separate entity. As might be imagined, the decision to reorganize the governance
structure was met with deep concern for the quality and future of the state’s higher
education environment. Opposition rallies were held, editorials were published,
impassioned letters were written to legislators. In the end, the merger went through
as designed (Thomas, 2011a; Thomas, 2011b; Thomas, 2014).
The librarians employed by the two systems were also concerned, but librarians
in general tend to be a practical bunch, a roll-up-your-sleeves-make-lemonade-outof-lemons group. So it was no great surprise when one CSU library director, sensing
a collaboration opportunity, contacted her colleagues at all the CSCU institutions
and founded the CSCU Council of Library Directors (CoLD). CoLD began to meet
and discuss projects, ideas, resources, and support services that might provide a
seamless library experience across institutions to better serve the students of CSCU.
At the time of the merger, the CSUS and the Connecticut State Library shared
a single instance of III’s Millennium ILS. The twelve institutions that made up the
CCC system had twelve (12) separate instances of Ex Libris’ Voyager ILS. Charter
Oak did not have a library system at all. Coincidentally, both Millennium and Voyager were approaching end-of-life. Understandably, then, the conversation among
the directors soon centered on the possibility of migrating to a single, combined
ILS for the entire CSCU.
Initially, the directors considered that the “pain” of a formal bid process might
be avoided by selecting a next generation Library Management Services platform
from one of the two vendors with which the libraries had existing contracts, III and
Ex Libris. The Council of Library Directors obtained refreshed quotes from each
vendor to extend the contracts and include the additional libraries. The authors - both
being relatively new to their positions and very vocal about the process - were tasked
with leading this exercise. Full day vendor demonstrations were organized during
the summer of 2014, the goal of which was to provide all Library staff throughout
3


Don’t Make Us Use the “Get Along Shirt”

the system with an opportunity to evaluate both vendors’ offerings. It was a disaster.
Institutional affiliation was largely predictive of how strenuously staff members
either proclaimed the benefits of a particular system or disparaged it. It became
clear that putting the two vendors in a position of competing head to head would not
be the way forward as many staff had too much invested in their current systems.
Ultimately, in November 2014, after several years of discussion and the failed
attempt at extending an existing contract, CoLD passed a resolution to issue an
RFP for an integrated library system for all 17 institutions. The committee charge
established that the process would be managed by a steering committee that would:
1. Create the scope of services,
2. Analyze and score vendor responses, and
3. Make a final recommendation to the Council which would be delivered to the
Board of Regents of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities.
The two directors who were involved in managing the preview process for the
existing vendors as was described earlier were the natural choice to serve as cochairs for the formal RFP process. Providentially, one was the director of a community college library, the other of one of the state universities. Work commenced
in earnest on November 21, 2014. It soon became clear that the task would require
dedication, resilience, determination, and humor to shepherd the project through
to a successful conclusion.

YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND
Spending the better part of nine months on this undertaking, which both authors
will attest is not wholly dissimilar from pregnancy, labor, and delivery, reaffirmed
the importance of:
1. Appointing co-chairs to share the load on a project of this size and scope and,
more importantly,
2. Appointing co-chairs with an established rapport and abiding trust in one
another.
The authors were extremely fortunate to have been system colleagues for more
than a decade who worked together routinely on technology projects within the
CONSULS consortium. (CONSULS is the Millennium ILS system that is shared by
the four Connecticut State University campuses and the Connecticut State Library.)
The authors benefited tremendously from a longstanding experience of maintaining
4


Don’t Make Us Use the “Get Along Shirt”

a shared ILS and all the policies, processes, and compromises that go with it. They
were already colleagues, collaborators, and confidants, which allowed them to focus
on the challenges at hand from the beginning unfettered by initial concerns about
dispositional compatibility and work habits. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to select people who have mutual respect and trust, and a proven ability
to work together productively with a shared sense of purpose. In any competitive
bid process, the RFP Steering Committee co-chairs will serve as both a sounding
board and sanity keeper to one another, so choosing the right ones for the task may
possibly be the most important decision made during the process.

SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED
Determining both a process and a structure for accomplishing the project goals
were among the first issues the authors grappled with as co-chairs of the Steering
Committee. From the outset, communication, transparency, and providing ample
opportunities for colleagues to provide input were the guiding principles for the
project. While it was suggested that the process could be greatly expedited by having fewer staff with direct involvement in the preparation and evaluation of the RFP
document (i.e., the RFP document prepared by a small committee of Library and
Board of Regents staff), the authors felt this approach would jeopardize the project’s
goals and discourage the buy-in among colleagues so necessary for the success of a
system migration of this scale. Both sides of the newly merged consortium, (CSUS
and CCC), had made significant investments in legacy systems (III Millennium
and Ex Libris Voyager respectively) and those systems had been in use for more
than a decade. Accordingly, a significant percentage of library staff manifested
particularly strong feelings of affinity for the vendor/system with which they had
the most familiarity. This is a completely natural human response to change and
something that should absolutely be taken into consideration when moving away
from a legacy system.
Fortuitously, this project benefited from the fact that a larger, heterogeneous
consortium, the Orbis Cascade Alliance, comprised of a nonprofit group of 37
colleges and universities in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, had recently issued
an RFP for a shared Library Management Services platform. Information about
their processes and committee structure, which was generously posted on their
website became a working model for this project (Orbis Cascade Alliance, 2014).
The project co-chairs decided to recommend a structure similar to Orbis Cascade
of a Steering Committee and several working groups devoted to a particular set of
functional specifications. Like Orbis Cascade, the chair (in our case, co-chairs) of
each functional Working Group would also serve on the Steering Committee. This
5


Don’t Make Us Use the “Get Along Shirt”

provided a vital communication link between the core Steering Committee and
Working Groups whose membership possessed expertise in a particular functional
area (e.g., cataloging) and were thus uniquely suited to develop the functional
specifications and evaluate the responses.
Having established (borrowed) the structure, the project co-chairs decided on
six functional Working Groups (acquisitions, cataloging, circulation, discovery,
serials, and systems) and set about assembling a group of dedicated, open, collegial,
and productive people to serve as co-chairs of each group and as members of the
project Steering Committee. Therefore, with respect to the stated dedication to
transparency and inclusivity, the authors put out a call for volunteers to the CSUS
librarians and the CCC librarians. Once nominations were received, participants
were selected according to the following criteria - in order of importance:
1. Collegiality,
2. Functional expertise,
3. Institution type.
Figure 1. The RFP Steering Committee and constituent working groups

6


Don’t Make Us Use the “Get Along Shirt”

In many cases, the criteria were clearly met by several possible volunteers, but
in a few instances it was decided that selecting people to serve in these pivotal roles
required intervention and consultation with the people who knew the library staff
best: the library directors. Following brief negotiation, a final list that met all the
criteria was completed and forwarded to CoLD for final review.
Once membership of the Steering Committee was finalized, the names were communicated to all library staff members in an inaugural project email that included
the following clarification: “Please note that one of the key roles of the Steering
Committee members is to communicate with their colleagues to be sure that all
voices are heard in this process.”
With the Steering Committee assembled, the project co-chairs assigned each
committee member a functional Working Group to co-lead and an initial kick-off
meeting of the entire Steering Committee was scheduled. Simultaneously, the project co-chairs deliberated on how to direct the Working Groups to conduct their
business. After considering several options, it was decided the project co-chairs
would take a “hands-off” approach and that the functional Working Group co-chairs
would be allowed to form their own committees, carry out their work on the project
in a manner that worked best for their members, and establish communication patterns that fit their own styles and comfort levels. Accordingly, at the initial kick-off
meeting in January 2015, the project co-chairs tasked the Working Group co-chairs
with recruiting their own committee members and, as the first test of the “hands
off” approach, the project co-chairs were quite pleased with the results: the Working Group co-chairs formed six high performing groups that became the basis for
the entire project’s success.
Once the Working Groups were assembled, the project co-chairs also allowed
the Working Groups to organize their own communication methods, with one caFigure 2. Email message sent to all library staff outlining the duties and obligations
of the Steering Committee

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Don’t Make Us Use the “Get Along Shirt”

veat: that the Working Group co-chairs would share back results of any meeting
or deliberation with the libraries at large through an online sharing mechanism,
and would avoid - at all costs - emailing Word and Excel documents. Both having
systems backgrounds, the project co-chairs were quite comfortable with most forms
of technology, but tried to choose something that was simple enough for even the
least “techie” among the library staff members to navigate. After considering several
options, a free cloud-based program called Basecamp (https://basecamp.com/) was
selected for its relative simplicity. However, the version at the time did not allow
for intuitive organization and quite soon the site became unwieldy and difficult to
manage. The steering committee pushed through, but once the time came for general
feedback collection, the project co-chairs found it necessary to transition to another
solution, as will be discussed in the next section.
With the Working Groups assembled and the online sharing site established, the
project co-chairs were ready to move the project forward to the specifications
preparation stage. As mentioned earlier, the project co-chairs borrowed heavily from
the Orbis Cascade experience and documentation. Each Working Group was
seeded with an initial set of specifications for its functional area to use as a model
or as a starting document, thereby greatly expediting the process of preparing the
RFP document, and thus emboldening the project co-chairs to pursue an aggressive
timeline while remaining were respectful of participants’ and institutions’ schedules
and demands. However, balancing this aggressive timeline with preserving the
Working Groups’ autonomy became one of the most contentious issues that arose
throughout the process.

Table 1. RFP completion timeline (fall 2015)
Date

8

Milestone

November 21, 2015

Acceptance of charge for Library Management System
and Discovery RFP Steering Committee co-chairs and
announcement of co-chairs.

December 1, 2015

Steering Committee co-chairs announce committee
members, noting their institutional affiliation and areas of
expertise.

November 24, 2014 - March 16, 2015

Input of functional requirements gathered from
constituencies; create functional specifications and
deliverables for the RFP prepared by Working Groups;
Steering Committee completes criteria list for evaluating
RFP responses.

April 3, 2015

Completion of work on RFP by Steering Committee.


Don’t Make Us Use the “Get Along Shirt”

PHASE 2: RFP PREPARATION
January 15 through May 18, 2015
During which the RFP was written and published, and evaluation materials were
prepared.

PUSHING THE ENVELOPE
Managing a large group of individuals on a deadline is always challenging, and the
authors struggled with competing priorities on all levels. Foundational to the success
of the project was anticipating how to provide enough time to prepare while ensuring
that the timeline is not so protracted that interest is sacrificed. In other words, would
it be better to compact the schedule to maintain momentum? Or better to spread it
out and risk having to start from scratch every couple of months? A decision was
made to follow the former approach (compacted), for the following reasons:
1. The project co-chairs were library directors and did not relish the idea of
continuing to work on this project indefinitely,
2. Pushing decisions off could impact the availability of funding, and
3. Why wait? All the libraries can be described as understaffed and the authors
could not identify any periods of time that would be less stressful.
To ease the tension, the authors tried to be as proactive and responsive as possible. Weekly WebEx “check-ins” were held with the Steering Committee in order
to assess progress, suss out stress points, provide guidance, and report out to the
Executive Committee of CoLD. Notes from each meeting were posted immediately
so everyone could stay on the same page. As the Working Groups moved closer to
the RFP specifications completion deadline - set for March 6, 2015 - anxiety was
heightened. In some of the cases, the authors were able to step in and alleviate the
stress by making a contribution to the discussion, by taking on a particular sticky task
for one of the Working Groups, or by simply talking the group through a challenge.
This did not work for all groups, however, and unfortunately one of the Working
Group co-chairs found it necessary to resign her duties due to time constraints. The
project co-chairs discussed the possibility of replacing this librarian with another
functional expert, but ultimately decided that the process was too far along to plug
in someone who had not been previously involved. Therefore, one of the project
co-chairs stepped in to help guide this Working Group to completion.
Although this one project “casualty” was disappointing, the authors were extremely gratified that the Working Groups were dedicated, productive, responsive,
9


Don’t Make Us Use the “Get Along Shirt”

and expedient. One of the authors has described this experience as one of the best
of her professional career due mostly to the performance of consortium colleagues
who co-chaired the Working Groups. The first milestone was met without incident
when each working group submitted a draft RFP specification for their functional
area by the announced deadline of March 3, 2015 - less than two months after the
initial kick off. The project co-chairs celebrated for brief moment and then moved
on to opening up the drafts to the library staffs at large for the public comment
phase, March 6-20, 2015.
Any library staff member theoretically had the opportunity to review and comment on any specification draft during this time period. In reality, the authors realized that most people “stayed in their lane” and reviewed the portions that most
affected their work. The authors allowed two full work weeks for the public comment phase and an additional week for the working groups to incorporate any appropriate feedback into the drafts. Once that deadline was met, the project co-chairs
took on the responsibility of assembling all sections into one cohesive RFP document. This turned out to be an arduous process that may have been the one unfortunate result of the autonomy granted to the Working Groups: it was soon discovered
that each group wrote in a different style and there was significant overlap between
certain functional areas. The project co-chairs spent long hours essentially de-duplicating the specifications and editing the document for style and voice, but eventually met the next stated deadline and a complete final draft of the RFP was circulated by April 3, 2015, approved by CoLD, and submitted to the BOR for review
and public posting on April 17, 2015, with a vendor response deadline of May 18,
2015.
There was little time to enjoy this significant victory, however, and the Working
Groups immediately turned to creating evaluation rubrics to score vendor responses.
For this phase of the project, the authors leaned on their UConn colleagues who had
recently been through a similar RFP process. The Working Groups were provided a
copy (with permission) of the UConn evaluation rubric to work from to help speed
Table 2. Specific milestones related to finalizing the RFP document (proposed)
Date

Milestone

March 6 - 20, 2015

Public comment phase.

March 21 - 27, 2015

Section drafts edited and finalized.

March 28 - April 2, 2015

Steering committee assembles sections into cohesive RFP document.

April 3, 2015

Completed RFP delivered to the Board of Regents.

10


Don’t Make Us Use the “Get Along Shirt”

the process. It was important to work through this portion as quickly as possible
since the evaluation rubrics were required to be finalized and notarized prior to the
opening of the bids (scheduled for May 21, 2015). Once again, the authors were
grateful that the Working Groups rose to the occasion and completed their work on
time. All rubrics were submitted and notarized just prior to the bid deadline.

PHASE 3: WRITTEN BID EVALUATION
May 21, 2015 through June 12, 2015
During which the vendor bids were reviewed and finalists were notified.

LET THE SUN SHINE
Given the complexity and bureaucracy of the institutions, and the stated dedication
to inclusiveness and transparency, some early decisions had to be made regarding
what to share, with whom, and how. While there is no airtight way to ensure all
constituents are kept informed, it was important to be satisfied that updates and
information were being provided as openly and as often as possible. As was mentioned previously, the steering committee adopted Basecamp, a popular web-based
project management tool, not only to help keep the Steering Committee and Working Groups on track but to provide library colleagues with a discussion forum, and
discuss they did! The original Basecamp site had 100 discussions that took place
between January and June of 2015. While it is no surprise that the people who were
most engaged in the discussions that took place via Basecamp were those who were
actively involved on one of the RFP committees, providing all library staff with the
ability to participate from an early stage was deemed essential.
Invitations were sent to all Library staff to join this original Basecamp site. While
most of the site’s content was available to anyone with an invitation to join (i.e.,
all staff), access to most functional specification draft documents was restricted to
members of the Steering Committee and Working Groups. Restricting access to draft
documents until they were ready for review by all interested staff balanced the need
for transparency with supporting the committee’s ability to complete its charge in a
timely fashion. No one seemed to object to the access restrictions, though it is quite
likely that staff outside the project’s circle did not realize what they were missing
since the documents could not be viewed.
However, as work progressed it was a struggle to decide how much information
to share and how much input to solicit. The more that was shared, the more criticism
and scrutiny were invited. This was especially true as two project milestones grew
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Don’t Make Us Use the “Get Along Shirt”

closer: the opening/review of vendor bids and preparation for system demonstrations. A couple of library director colleagues were quite vocal in expressing their
displeasure that one of their preferred vendors had not submitted a bid. This vendor,
along with another, had asked for an extension to the May 18, 2015 submission
deadline that was not granted by the Board of Regents given our project’s goal of
a fall 2016 implementation. Since the other vendor that requested an extension
ultimately wound up submitting a bid by the deadline, the company’s decision not
to submit a bid appeared to be a business one.
Similarly, the proposed timeline for vendor demonstrations (discussed in the next
section) was questioned by a few. At this point a conference call with the Council
of Library Directors’ Executive Committee was scheduled to clear the air and avoid
potential misunderstandings. This meeting was arranged at the request of a member
of the Executive Committee, who felt the workload involved in preparing a demonstration script and attending the demonstrations would be too much for his staff
involved on Working Groups to handle. Although this may have been a legitimate
concern, the criticism belied a larger bone of contention, namely the perception that
library staff somehow lost control over the process and had thus ceded power to
the Board of Regents representatives. While it was true that the Board of Regents
liaison assigned to the project took the lead on the legal and process requirements
of publishing and opening the bids, an entirely appropriate role since the bid was
issued by the Board, the content of the functional specifications and forthcoming
evaluation of the bids remained steadfastly under the control of the RFP Steering
Committee. Ultimately, the Executive Committee concluded that a delay could
jeopardize the implementation target date, but, more importantly, the funding allocated to the project.
While it was hard not to take such criticism to heart, the authors realized that
it was symptomatic of a larger lack of trust between individual institutions and the
CSCU System Office. Perhaps not enough time had elapsed after the merger of the
two systems to establish the requisite trust needed for a project of this complexity
and scope, but it is also true that libraries and librarians have been often marginalized
within academia. Thus, the fear of having control of the project’s outcome snatched
away at any moment was certainly a reasonable one. However, the authors will attest that our experiences working with Board of Regents staff were very positive,
and their expertise in state bid processes, project management, and enterprise-level
technology solutions proved invaluable. Indeed, the authors are hopeful that the
working relationships developed with the BOR IT staff during this project will pave
the way for more fruitful collaboration in the future.

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