February Activity Report

Thank you all for participating in the last two weeks of demonstrations of our Orbis2 candidate systems. I'd like to give you an idea of the project's immediate and critically important next steps. 

This email contains information about:
- the work of the system evaluators,
- an announcement about open meetings for general discussions about the 2 systems, and
- details about the Migration Management Group's system selection process.

Many of us now have in-depth exposure to the functionality offered by the software systems we have been examining. Now we have to build a comprehensive picture of the comparative merits of the two systems.  Constructing that overall picture is the task before us. 

The Evaluation Workgroup members (http://www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/public/wkgroup/eval.html) will spend the week of February 5th pulling together the information they collected about the two systems.  Using the Demo Situations (http://www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/public/wkgroup/systemdemo.html), they will compare the functionality available from Ex Libris ALEPH and Endeavor Voyager.  Workgroup members will prepare summary analytical reports to weigh the pros and cons of each vendor in six key areas of functionality.

Using these summary reports as a foundation, the Evaluation Work Group will sponsor a set of open meetings, each dedicated to a major system module, for all library staff to talk about the functionality provided by the systems. These sessions will be scheduled for the week of February 12th  (message forthcoming with times and dates), will last about an hour, and will be your opportunity to discuss the strengths and weaknesses you observed during the presentations.

Following these meetings, Holly Grossetta Nardini, Evaluation Work Group Chair, and
Audrey Novak, Orbis2 Project Manager, will summarize the findings of the Evaluation Work Group and the open meetings for the Migration Management Group.

MIGRATION MANAGEMENT GROUP (http://www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/public/wkgroup/mmgroup.html)

System selection rests with the Migration Management Group. Starting on February 27th, and working into early March, the Migration Management Group will be evaluating all aspects of the two systems and vendors, considering most particularly:

- Functionality (based on the reports from the Evaluation Work Group and the general discussion groups)
- Data migration and conversion services (based on the report of the Data Migration group)
- Software license fees, annual contract maintenance costs for hardware and software, and likely cost of the staff effort required to manage the system.
- Hardware configuration and cost (based on analysis by David Gewirtz, Manager ITS/Library Group)
- Experience of other libraries using the systems (based on the report from the Site Visit Work Group)
- System architecture: what kind of control we have over the system, issues related to system design, ease of system management, ease of system expansion (based on the report from the Systems Issues group)
- Confidence in the vendor's ability to meet our needs, enhance the product, and maintain financial health over the next ten to twelve years.

As a part of making its decision, the Migration Management Group will prepare a report on its assessment of each of these aspects of the two systems and on how it weighted these factors in deciding on our next library management systems vendor.  That report will be available to all interested library staff and to the Advisory Committee on Library Policy.

With this choice made, I will get in touch with our vendor to discuss how we might use a letter of intention to get the first steps in systems implementation started immediately.  We will also begin formally to negotiate a contract for the new system, a process that we hope to conclude by no later than 1 June 2001.  We remain confident that the new library management system will be in production early in July 2002.

If you have any questions or comments about the next phase of the Orbis2 project, please feel free to contact me at audrey.novak@yale.edu.

-Audrey Novak
Orbis2 Project Manager