SUNY Prepares for
In Her Own Words
Mary Alice Lynch, Executive Director,
A Day in a LIfe at the
Link to the OLIS Committees List
On October 26, 1999 SUNY
announced the selection of Ex Libris (and their ALEPH500 software) as the
recommended SUNYConnect LMS vendor. Since that time various planning and
preparatory activities have been underway. As always these activities involve groups of
SUNY colleagues working together. The SUNY library directors on April 24, 1998 provided a
strong impetus for this complex project when they recommended that all SUNY libraries
should strive to implement the same library management system.
to review the library directors' resolution.
Negotiations between SUNY and Ex Libris are well underway. Face to face meetings and
conference calls have been conducted with the SUNY Contract Team and Ex Libris staffers
(including Carl Grant, President of Ex Libris USA). The SUNY team is comprised of Mary Ann
Corsetti (SUNY Contracts), Carey Hatch (SUNY/OLIS), Janet Potter (Oneonta), and Maureen
Zajkowski (SUNY/OLIS). An advisory group made up of Meredith Butler (Albany), Patrick
Callahan (Purchase), Mark Ludwig (Buffalo), Larry Randall (SUNY/OLIS), Judy Sikora
(Genesee), Tamm Sissac (New Paltz), Mark Smith (Alfred Ceramics) provided useful input
into the contract planning process. While significant progress on a SUNY/Ex Libris
contract has been made, it should be remembered that additional steps are involved in this
process. Any agreement must also be approved by SUNY System Administration and by New York
The SUNYConnect LMS Planning Team has been charged to provide input to the SUNYConnect Advisory Council on the LMS implementation.
Included in this planning are provisions for program participation, criteria for campus
readiness, processes for selecting hub sites and establishing implementation schedules.
Numerous documents and surveys are being developed to garner information from individual
SUNY libraries. S.A.C. has suggested the following timeline:
January 2000 - hardware RFP issued
January 2000 - trial run of LMS migration survey
January 2000 - technical discussions with Ex Libris
Feb/Mar 2000 - contract review by NYS
Mar/Apr 2000 - hub site RFP
June 2000 - commence software testing
The members of the Planning Team are Larry Randall, Chair (SUNY/OLIS) Bill Drew
(Morrisville), Barbara Liesenbein (Dutchess), Raj Madan (Brockport), Doug Michael
(Cayuga), Andy Perry (Binghamton), Steve Roberts (Buffalo), Natalie Sturr (Oswego), Laurie
Thompson (HSC Syracuse), Ted Phelps (SUNYNet, advisory), Frances Garrido (Farmingdale, COA
Thanks to our wayfaring Project Manager, Maureen Zajkowski and members of the SUNY community for their participation in
regional meetings around New York State. During a whirlwind of December, Maureen and other
individuals involved in the selection of Ex Libris and the ALEPH500 software conducted
informational gatherings in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Huntington, Syracuse and White
Plains. The OLIS Web site provides access to the meetings'
presentation materials. Ex Libris will conduct demonstrations of the ALEPH500 software
during Spring 2000.
SUNY's selection of Ex Libris is generating interest around the library world. Maureen
traveled to Illinois to discuss the selection with an academic library consortium there
(ILCSO - Illinois Library Computer Systems Organization). The journal Integrated Library System Reports (ILSR) in
their November issue characterized the SLAM Web site as the "Best of the IOLS Web...
A great overview of what one library system did to work together to select a system."
Information on the selection has appeared in other library journals
including Library Hotline (November 9, 1999; Vol. XXVIII, No. 44) and American
Libraries (January 2000; Vol.31, No.1).
Some decisions regarding a SUNY library's implementation of ALEPH500 require finalizing
the contract and implementation plans (via S.A.C.). Yet there are a variety of tasks that
an individual library can undertake in preparation. The SUNYConnect Financial Plan
(in its current format) is available for review. Specific costs (and benefits) involved in
utilizing the SUNYConnect LMS can be found in this document.
From a more technical standpoint, issues involving local networking and computing
infrastructure should be analyzed. Whatever improvements to local networking capabilities
that a library can see to fruition will likely benefit LMS performance in the future.
Likewise, certain computing components of an ALEPH500 implementation are known. These
involve the use of internet browsers as the primary OPAC device and computers utilizing
Windows as the primary tool for library staff functions. Training in the use of ALEPH500
will be provided to campus trainers/librarians. Additional training will be a campus
information regarding appropriate preparations for the LMS implementation is