Primary Contacts meeting Thursday, October 18, 2012 -

Primary Contacts meeting
Thursday, October 18, 2012 -- 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Baruch College Newman Library
Mike Waldman
Joy Dunkley
Judith Wild
Chip Stewart
Stephen Klein, Polly Thistlethwaite
Rhonda Johnson
Bonnie Nelson
Jennifer Noe
Ann Matsuuchi
Ed Wallace
Quinquo Huang
Sharon Swacker
Ben Chitty
Jeffrey Jia
Dean Bryan, Larry McCue
1. Some committee members were rankled by lack of a set agenda. Nothing was received in response to
the email call for agenda items. Others said they did not receive the email. OLS staff will review the OLS
support site committee roster for omissions or problems.
2. Primo history: By shifting away from an earlier ETI (Enterprise Technology Initiatives) funding
commitment for an electronic resources management system, the Primo library resources discovery
service (end-user interface software with hosted/integrated and hosted mega-aggregated index) from
Ex Libris was approved for procurement by the full CUNY IT Steering Committee on November 16, 2011.
Procurement efforts were started in February 2012 by OLS. Shortly thereafter CIS said they would
handle procurement instead.
Primo was absent from the September 19, 2012 ETI subcommittee report to the full group. The
subcommittee was requested to look into this oversight and provide an update at the October 17th IT
Steering Committee meeting. At that meeting, Primo was again noticeably absent from the
subcommittee report, ostensibly due to the lack of a "formal request."
Bonnie said it can be brought back to IT Steering. Bonnie also clarified that while Arthur Downing is an
official member of the IT Steering Committee, she represents the University Faculty Senate, which
means that she has a voice at the meetings but does not vote.
CUNY libraries need a discovery tool, we spend $16 million a year of which $11 million is for electronic
resources, yet students and faculty are not getting full use.
Stephen remarked that there are other discovery tools to consider.
3. Part two of Aleph application migration to new server still pending. No new migration cutover date
has yet been targeted as preliminary testing by OLS only began yesterday (Wednesday, October 17th).
There are no Aleph software specialists on CIS side, so they rely on vendor for expertise. However, for
security reasons vendor is not given full root access to server.
Committee concerned that old server may die before migration completed. Question posed as to
maintenance fee costs. Unknown.
Questions also raised about backup of data and of software, and of ability to rollback if migration
attempt is unsuccessful. Have we tested reliability / infallibility of our backups? Is data all there? Data
backups are reliable. The Test database is also available as backup, though it can be up to three months
out of date due to its quarterly refresh schedule.
Committee requested delaying migration date to intercession, but CIS resources would not likely be
available then.
4. Hard to use and maintain catalog because it is bloated with multiple bib records. Also true of patron
Some Blackboard student users also experiencing problems due to complex but (in certain instances)
similar multiple/duplicate patron records caused by lack of unique and foolproof identifier.
Issue: multiple CUNY-generated “UUIDs” gets transferred to Blackboard creating multiple records,
affecting 4% CUNY-wide. Noted that UUIDs preceded CUNYfirst EMPLIDs.
Once University is fully on CUNYfirst, everyone will have a CUNYfirst-generated EMPLID so issue should
be resolved. However, it is known that PeopleSoft creates duplicate EMPLIDs. Kevin is working on a
Due to CUNYfirst problems, QC lost enrollment because students were unable to register or get into
classes. Faculty and staff were impeded in their ability to serve students.
SSN still remains as additional key, searchable but not viewable. Though hidden, SSNs remain in
CUNYfirst and many other University systems.
Question: What will our response be if CUNYfirst shuts down?
5. Need to move to Aleph Version 21 now and also start investigating a move to new software. We
should work on parallel tracks: fix current problems; look to future. New ILS decision could take 5-7
years. Important thing is survival this semester combined with incremental improvement plus "game
changing" vision.
There are other ILS possibilities. What about IDS? OCLC WorldShare? Innovative?
CUNY is the country's third largest university and its largest urban university. It is an important
institution. We should not be lagging behind.
Libraries and OLS have been making recommendations for years which remain unheeded. Who is
responsible for these delays? Why aren't our suggestions implemented? Something other than logic at
work. Perhaps something political or personal?
6. Committee members shared procurement issues and complaints.
7. QC on how display of call numbers and locations was changed. Old display cannot be changed
globally. Chip said on the contrary, this was fixed at City College. Ben will first put in work order with
CIS service desk: then speak with Kevin Collins.
8. Next meeting: Wed. Feb. 6th, 2013.
Mike will check room availability at Baruch. (Update: room reservation confirmed)