HomeMigrationMigration PreparationConsider for Migration

1. Consider for Migration

Preparing new libraries to join an Evergreen consortium

Steps to a Successful Move to SPARK, the PaILS branded hosted open source Evergreen Integrated Library System:

Preview the current installation of Evergreen. 

Online meetings/personal visits can be scheduled. 

Interested libraries can view our support site and learn about the SPARK Community and PaILS Membership by asking a staff member, or by getting a referral from a current member library.

Be aware of the time that your staff team will need to invest in the migration process.

Confirm that your location has adequate connectivity and hardware/network to get full benefit.

Note: Working to establish minimum standards--bandwidth for transactions and searches is low. Larger monitors recommended.  Considering regulation that a location MUST have at least one workstation in the location that offers ability to attend online meetings with sound, to talk and screenshare for best online support.  Staff (and patrons) need access to remote view and talk technology to take full advantage.)

Before Signing a Letter of Intent:

Provide Information on a worksheet including: Current ILS, Provider End Date, Barcode Ranges in Use for both patrons and items--include anomalies, Number of Bibliographic Records, Number of Items, Number of Patrons

Sign Commitment to Review Policies.  (Match to a preferred/recommended policy set, created by PaILS with 4 options for Best Practice Patron Serving Equity and Access based policies.  Sue will clarify if libraries can continue to charge for DVDs under the regs.)

Sign Commitment to analyze/clean data

Consider Resource Sharing Future ideas.

Understand costs of migration (time investment included) as well as what the annual cost will be.

Analyze Workflows and Make Sure your Written Policies Match:  Use this list (which we'll break out into a new doc)

Deeply consider Patron data and what should migrate.  Be aware of (new idea here:) Expired patrons that can no longer be counted as active users by state reporting guidelines will NOT be migrated unless special circumstances are arranged.  Patrons should agree to have their data transferred into the new system--they need to be aware of the change to their account, its access, and its features.

Analyze Incoming Library System Workflows and Circulation and Holds Policies

Workflows of Circulation or Front-Line staff : Please describe any workflows that your front-line staff perform on a daily basis. Examples may include :

  1. Do you have a public holds shelf separate from behind the counter?
  2. Do you have a courier service/system for sharing materials between branches? Please describe the set up?
  3. Do you have a workflow for taking monies for services, ie. printing, faxes, etc., and please describe.
  4. Do you have a separate check-in station for material returns?
  5. Self-check station(s)?
  6. Any unique or out of the ordinary duties that front-line staff perform for their patrons?

Circulation: Please describe the way your patrons currently circulate your materials, including as much detail as possible.

  1. Please tell us who can circulate which materials, for how long, how many items at a time or check out thresholds, and the amount of any fine billed to the patron in the event the items become overdue.
  1. Utilization of grace period before overdue fees begin to accumulate?
  1. Do fees cap out at item price or another amount?
  1. What is the fine threshold before a patron is blocked from checking out materials, using public computers, etc.
  1. Which materials are renewable, how many times, and is that the same for every patron?
  1. Do you have patrons who cannot circulate certain materials (such as patrons with Internet only accounts)?
  1. Do you waive overdue fees if patron is paying for lost or damaged materials? Do you allow for replacement items for lost or damaged items?
  1. Are certain patrons/staff exempt from fines?
  1. Any Rental fees involved with any media/dvd or loan types? If so, how much?
  2. Are there materials that circulate for less time than others, such as new books? What is the circulation period for those materials, how many times can they renew, and how do you distinguish them from other (older) materials (e.g. different shelving location)?
  1.  If you have technology, such as e-readers or laptops, can patrons check them out? What are the rules?
  1. Do you check out things like headphones, games, etc.? What are the rules?
  1. Do you have any non barcoded (non-cataloged) items that you share with patrons like honor collections or paperback exchanges?
  1. Are there kits or other groups of items that circulate in a special way?
  2. Do you want to use Evergreen to count programs or program attendance?

Holds: Please describe the way your patrons can currently place holds on your materials, including as much detail as possible.

  1. Which types of materials are holdable/not holdable?
  1. Are there certain patrons who are not allowed to place holds on any/specific materials?
  1. Please describe any hold limits currently in place? 
  1. Are there any materials (holdable for your patrons) that you would prefer to prevent from resource sharing with the consortium?
  1. Are any technology materials (e-readers, laptops, etc.) holdable? What are the rules?

After Signing Letter of Intent

After these steps above are completed and documentation is provided, your migration will be scheduled on a timeline that is mutually agreeable by PaILS Staff, our vendor provider, and member library locations.

Migration Start Date Assigned:

Timetable/Schedule sent out and time blocked by Local Library Staff, PaILS Staff, and Vendor.  PaILS staff and Equinox will set things up based on written policies.

Determine how you will serve patrons outside your service area.

Send letters to neighbors of intended change to let them know of your plans. 

Start of Migration: 

Assign accountability for tasks to be completed by the Migration Team.  Understand the roles.

Commit to a positive attitude towards change.  (Need to find more Change Management resources so libraries can prepare their staff to also embrace change.)

Determine your Name / SHORTCodes under best practices.

Send out letters to neighbors announcing your plans.

Review calendar.  Ensure marketing and closed days are planned.  Consider not having items due during a brief period of time to prevent busy days on Go Live.  Know that there will be a short period of time when no items will be able to be checked in during the transition, so make plans for an overload of materials.  Understand that no items will be added during a short Cataloging Freeze. 

Schedule training times for In-Person and Online Training.  (Custom training schedule based on your needs and amount of time available.)   Much early training is done via recorded video and live online session.

Ensure marketing and closed days (if needed) are planned.

Consider not having items due during a brief period of time to prevent busy days on Go Live.

Complete Policy Mapping Sheets.  PaILS staff and Equinox will set things up based on written policies.

Library exports "Test Load" of bilbiographic database, items, and patrons to vendor; Vendor moves Test Load to test server and library checks data integrity and policy setups on test server.    (All items will transfer, but it is prudent to determine (based on cataloging quality) if all library bibliographic records should enter or only unique bibliographic records.)

Library gets test server for catalog and can customize OPAC look and feel on the test server.  

Library stops all New item ordering (if using acquisitions in current system)

Exisiting database freeze for collection items:  Library stops all new item cataloging for a short period before Go Live. 

Circulation Freeze:  Library stops using existing ILS, and uses Offline Circulation in SPARK/Evergreen for 3 days before Go Live.  Libraries cannot "check-in" items during this period, so they will need to plan ahead for storage/carts for 3-5 days of returned items. 

All SIP connections are set up and tested. 

Soft Go Live Day: 

Work into the plan that the library will have the afternoon of the day before new system in order to catch up on back-logged check-ins and holds.

All SIP connections are set up and tested. 

Go Live Day:

PaILS Staff and Community Members will be scheduled to be on site.

Receive Welcome Letter from User Group.

Complete steps in GoLive Checklist.

At end of day, get report of daily circulation, total bibliographic records, total items, total patrons for quick analysis.  (SPARK staff should run and send these?)

Month of New:

Set up Reports:  PaILS Staff works with Migrating Library to ensure that all report data that is needed is available.

Ensure that all Receipt Templates are what you want.  PaILS starts you with a set of templates, but local folks may want to customize.  

Ensure that all Notices are configured as you wish.  Set/establish a calendar/checklist so you can watch at specific intervals for notices you expect the system to send.  Pay careful attention to lost notices at the interval you set them for... 

Test and make any/all changes needed to the OPAC, including carousels, colors, links, features like "custom text to link to a Purchase Request or ILL form" if no results display, etc.


End of Migration:

Generally, libraries will report issues to the Migration Team and have active support from our data team and vendor for about a month after Go Live Day. 

Sign Off Migration Period and Transition to SPARK Support.

Appendix created by EQ:

This is a checklist of things that a library joining an Evergreen consortium should verify. This is not meant to be comprehensive; instead, it focuses on areas that have caused difficulty in the past when the answers to these questions were not fully known prior to the library beginning the implementation.

General migration needs

  • ●  What is the library's current ILS?

  • ●  What date does the contract with the current provider end?

  • ●  What is the plan for extracting data? ​Note: this is heavily dependent details such as what the current ILS is, whether or not the library or the vendor hosts it, whether Equinox has experience extracting data from that ILS, and the completeness and price of exit services from the prior vendor.

  • ●  Does the library share their source ILS with other libraries? If so, are the other libraries participating in the migration?

  • Data matching considerations

● Are there any patron barcodes that are shared by records already in the consortium?

Note: Given a report of the incoming library's barcodes, Equinox can identify collisions. Depending on how much time passes between a library expressing interest in joining the consortium and actually starting their migration, it may be necessary to check for barcode collisions more than once prior to the kick-off.

○ If there are overlapping barcodes, do they represent patrons using the same cards at multiple libraries? Or do they represent cases where brief barcode numbers are being used?

  • ●  Are there any item barcodes that are shared by records already in the consortium? ​Note: as above, given a report, Equinox can identify collisions.

  • ●  Are patron cards shared by the incoming library and neighboring libraries that are already in the consortium? By neighboring libraries that are ​not​ already in the consortium but may join it?

    Policy considerations

  • ●  Does the incoming library plan to begin resource-sharing with the rest of the consortium upon go-live?

  • ●  Does the incoming library already do resource-sharing with one or more members of the consortium?

  • ●  Will the incoming library need to make significant changes to locations or circulation policy to match requirements set by the consortium?


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