Software migration at the career college library and random thoughts
Whenever you are involved in a project it can feel like the project is dead if a lot still has to happen behind the scenes. That is sort of what is happening with our migration to Evergreen. Rest assured though that progress is being made. In fact yesterday we got a hold of some worksheets that we need to fill out that will help message our data into the right fields with the new system. I know, I don’t completely understand it either. Here’s a quick update though and some thoughts on this process so far.
We are getting ready to add our bib records. This is how it’s working for us: we have 42 campuses and the 5 largest library collections were selected for migration. Each of these libraries has a separate library software right now and so it was amazingly complicated what needed to happen to get all that data to “fit” right into fields in Evergreen. Once those worksheets are filled out Equinox will load the records as a test and we will get 30 days to play around in the system until the final upload is done. By April we should be working on Evergreen with students for real. Very exciting.
1. When you are working with a project manager there are always stages. This is a good thing, it keeps people from getting lost in the process and if you trust the person there isn’t as much stress. My suggestion – trust the project manager, otherwise you will be biting your nails til the end.
2. Communicate your timeline to more people than you think need to know. We have one librarian in our system that has been without library automation software for over a year. The school opened last March and she has been in waiting status for this migration since then. She is really frustrated. If you are leading this kind of project (and I mean really the leader needs to do this) send regular updates on the project so people don’t feel like they were forgotten about. Remember it’s hard to understand the complete picture when your light only shows the bottom corner.
3. Use a third-party support company. Unless you have fantastic system librarians you need to hire out some support to at least get you started. This stuff is complicated and if it’s not done right you will have nothing but pain trying to get it figured out. We are working with Equinox and they have been great.
4. Have fun and remember Rome wasn’t built-in a day. I get so excited sometimes I get impatient but I have really enjoyed this project and I’m glad I was able to work on it. Enjoy the growing pains of your libraries future, it’s always worthwhile!