The latest news from your partners at OCLS
JUNE 2019
COVID and Beyond: Reporting from OCLS Offices across the GTA
by Virginia Roy, Executive Director, OCLS
Like you, the OCLS team members scattered March 16 and quickly regrouped around Teams, Zoom, Outlook and Google docs. These are our lifelines to you and to each other as we continue to deliver services to support you and your libraries. Who knew that when the OCLS team worked remotely for over a week in November, during our relocation, we were actually performing a dress rehearsal for this? As they say, the show must go on and OCLS has settled into new routines even as we begin considering what a return to work might look like for us. Last week, OCLS struck a Recovery Working Committee that will begin developing a phased plan under the following Guiding Principles:
  • Safeguarding the health and safety of our staff
  • Providing uninterrupted service to our customers
  • Compliance with local/provincial guidelines and protocols
  • Consideration for our situation as a small organization with the ability to work remotely 
  • Decisions based on information that is reliable and authoritative
We anticipate that our return as a full staff to the office may not happen until the fall, as we are mindful of the continued need for social distancing. We will continue to monitor and stay abreast of the factors and circumstances that are guiding the college plans for the fall semester and how those may impact college library planning and service delivery. We may be scattered across the GTA working from our home offices and dining tables, but regardless of where we are, when you need us, we are with you. Let us know how we can help.  
askON Adapts to Support Libraries during COVID-19 Closure
by Rebecca LaFrance, Services and Support Associate - Virtual Reference, OCLS
With the closure of college campuses across the province and library staff moving to a remote service model, askON has adapted to meet the needs of the participating libraries during the COVID-19 outbreak. After an initial period of reduced hours while library staff adjusted to working from home, askON extended service hours with additional hours in the morning and on Friday evening. askON will continue to provide 77 hours of service per week during the summer to better support students while classes are online and physical library spaces remain closed. 
askON has remained open through the intersession this spring to support students, staff, and faculty. The service has continued to receive library and reference questions, but there has been an increase in questions from faculty seeking support locating materials for the summer semester, and library staff have been fielding a higher number of questions beyond the library and directing students to other departments.  
Weekly traffic starting March 16 2020, compared with the corresponding week in 2019

The data shows how important askO N is to stude nts in the time of COVID, when online services are more important than ever. The graph above shows the increase in traffic a skON seen over the past three months compared with the same time period previous years. From March 16-April 24 (weeks 1-6) there was a 33% increase in traffic compared to the same period in 2019. During intersession (week 7), a week when askON is typically closed, the service received 168 que stions. From May 4-May 17 (weeks 8 and 9) there was a 210% increase in traffic compared to 2019.  
For questions about askON, please contact Rebecca LaFrance.
Collaborative Library Systems Platform (CLSP) Project Update
by Marnie Seal, Cambrian, and Cynthia Mckeich, Humber, Committee Co-Chair s

The Collaborative Library Systems Platform (CLSP) Project has stayed on track with planned deliverables, and the Business Case document was completed and distributed to the College Libraries Ontario membership at the end of January. We hope that this document has been instrumental in assisting with advocacy efforts at individual institutions. A Total Cost of Ownership Worksheet was also circulated to assist individual colleges with comparing costs for their current system(s) with estimated costs for a new integrated system.   
Work continues on the development of the Request for Quotations document, with the current focus being the required system features list. The committee distributed surveys on the features list to library staff across the colleges, and has been reviewing the feedback received to ensure that the RFQ is asking for all of the elements that the group would require in a new system. 
The CLSP committee plans to present the completed RFQ to CLO at the AGM on June 1st, where we also hope to discuss future commitment to the project. Committee co-chairs Cynthia and Marnie will also be presenting to the OCCCIO (Chief Information Officer) group at the end of May to build awareness about the project and discuss potential technical support needs.  
While we face many uncertainties as we work through the challenges of COVID-19, the CLSP committee feels that it remains important to continue this work to move the project forward. The current situation serves to highlight the need for our institutions to support access to digital resources in an efficient way; this is perhaps more evident than ever before. With most courses now being delivered exclusively online, better systems are key to serving our users.

For more information including a list of CLSP committee members, please see the CLSP project site with more details . If you have any questions or concerns please contact Co-Chairs Marnie Seal or Cynthia Mckeich .
Update from the CLO Metrics & Assessment Committee
by Catherine Davidson, Durham College, Committee Chair, and Siobán Linnen, OCLS

The CLO Metrics and Assessment Committee has been working diligently throughout winter and spring 2020 to bring the renewal and recalibration of the CLO Annual statistics survey to completion. The focus was multi-part: to ensure the survey questions reflect the current college library landscape through inclusion of pertinent new questions and deletion of outdated questions and to plan for the transfer of the data collection element to OCLS.
After reviewing CCI's report of their survey of library directors conducted April-May 2019, the Committee proposed an updated set of survey questions. The new survey consists of 40 annual questions, with an additional 28 questions spread across three modules to be included in the survey on a rotating basis. 24 questions were removed from the survey. The proposed question set was which was approved by CLO members in February 2020.
Throughout this process, extensive work was undertaken to  ensure that language and definitions are clear and unambiguous. CCI produced a final report with a draft assessment framework, a redline survey documenting the changes that were made to the survey and the rationale for these changes, and a clean version of the revised survey. The Committee is grateful to CCI for their guidance and support.
In April 2020, the CLO Executive Committee requested that OCLS support the collection of annual CLO data collection going forward. OCLS has hired a consultant, Rosanne Renzetti of IDEATIVE to plan and coordinate the collection of library data for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 fiscal years. The survey will be distributed June 5 and will close on September 30. Rosanne will hold two webinar sessions in early June to provide an overview of the new survey, process, and survey tool for library staff involved in collecting and inputting library data.
For a list of CLO Metrics and Assessment Committee members, please see the CLO website. If you have any questions please contact Committee Chair Catherine Davidson.
Library eResources Accessibility Portal (LEAP) Update
by Corinne Abba, George Brown College, Committee Chair, and Siobán Linnen, OCLS

The LEAP project team has been working hard since our last update as we approached the January 2020 deadline and prepared for the launch of the LEAP portal and the first year of assessments. 

The LEAP portal launched in January and underwent a second phase of development that rolled out in March. These new developments make it easier for users to navigate through the assessment modules and provide a more robust assessment report that allows users to filter results according to response and download the full report. 

Also in January, CLO Executive approved the recommendations of the LEAP Local Implementation and Shared Workflows working group on how the colleges should work together to assess eresources. Following this approval, a Steering Committee was struck to guide LEAP's first year. The Steering Committee has worked with LEAP college leads to identify priorities for database assessment in 2020-2021 and have distributed the first batch of assessments among those who responded to our survey. We are excited to report that we anticipate over 50 databases to be assessed during this first year. The Steering Committee will reach out in September to identify additional database priorities and distribute the remaining assessments for 2020/2021. 

To prepare for the first year of assessments, we held four training virtual training sessions in February and March, which were developed and led by the Training and Competency working group. These sessions were recorded and can be accessed on the AODA Research Page on the OCLS website along with the slide decks. 

If you have any questions about LEAP, please contact Corinne Abba or Siobán Linnen. 
CUC Shared Metadata Service Initiative Update 
by Stacey Boileau, Information Technology Systems and Services Coordinator, OCLS
After a successful pilot with Fleming College, OCLS has been working with EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) to set up the harvesting of widely shared eresource collections from the Colleges Union Catalog (CUC) to college EDS discovery layers. OCLS maintains and edits the records for the consortia while supporting the harvest into multiple college discovery layers for access.
After a call for participation in December, this initiative is almost complete for six more colleges for the ProQuest College Complete and/or LinkedIn Learning collections with a hope to expand to other widely shared eresource collections. OCLS is currently in an initial discussion phase with ExLibris about how to implement for colleges that use Summon and Primo while continuing to offer editing and delivery of these collections using FTP for colleges who prefer to have them loaded into their OPAC but want to take advantage of the maintenance benefit. OCLS believes the CUC has a role to play in the central management of records for widely shared eresource collections in order to bring efficiency to the system, provide consistent quality of records, and increase user access.  
If you have any questions about shared metadata service initiatives please contact Stacey Boileau.
OCLS Developing Automated Testing Tool Based on Selenium 
by Alex Eykelhof, Director of Information Technology, OCLS
One of the challenges we at OCLS often face is security in the knowledge that the systems we are providing are working continuously at the highest level of efficiency and the only time our college library partners need to think about them is during that troubling moment when they stop working unexpectedly. The Remote Access system, for example, meets the needs of students over one million times per year. On those rare occasions when it does stop working, OCLS staff react immediately to correct the problem because we know how serious a problem can be. To that end, OCLS is developing an automated testing tool based on Selenium that will automatically check all of our systems and web interfaces, not just to confirm that they are working, but also to ensure that they are reacting properly.
Our goal is to be able to detect problems faster and begin the notification and correction process sooner. With this powerful tool, we will provide services with a higher level of availability and resolve problems more quickly.
OCLS 10-Year Infographic  
2019/20 marked OCLS's 10th year of service to Ontario's publicly funded college libraries since we formed in 2009 and launched our suite of services in 2010. We are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished in collaboration with the college libraries over the past 10 years. We have doubled the number of services we provide, adding key services such as askON, CORe, and CLEAR, collaborated with the college libraries to continuously improve our services and keep pace with changing needs and technologies, and conducted, collaborated on, and supported a wide range of vital projects in pursuit of our shared goal: improving equitable access across the college library system.
To mark this occasion, we created an infographic that highlights just some of what we have accomplished in the past 10 years alongside the Ontario college libraries. We look forward to working together for another 10 years and beyond.
Staff Profile: Jana Purmalis 

Jana Purmalis joined OCLS as Manager of Services, effective March 10, 2020. Before joining OCLS, Jana managed a small team at BGC Engineering, where she was a Librarian and Information Services Manager since 2016. Jana brings a wealth of diverse experience to her role as Manager of Services at OCLS, with 18 years' experience working in the fields of libraries, education, and research.  
Jana holds a Masters of Information from the University of Toronto, where she received both an Ontario Graduate Scholarship and a U of T Fellowship, as well as an undergraduate degree in Geography from Ryerson.
Jana is highly customer focused and a strong communicator, planner, and leader. She is committed to service excellence, effective teamwork, and practical, value-oriented solutions. She has a history of implementing projects to expand and enhance library services and has successfully led complex company-wide projects to improve collaboration, communication, and information management. Jana looks forward to building strong relationships with the college libraries and supporting the libraries as they continue to deliver an exceptional service experience to their users.
Staff Profile: Guita Lamsechi  
Guita Lamsechi joined OCLS this past April as Web Services and Digital Repository Analyst. In this role, Guita is responsible for coordinating the development and delivery of OCLS's web-based tools and services as well as for providing primary support for the Colleges Object Repository (CORe).
Guita brings a great deal of experience and skill to the position, having designed, implemented, and maintained web technology projects for a number of years. She has experience with content management tools such as Drupal and Islandora as well as metadata standards, and she has a background in accessibility standards and their application in designing accessible web interfaces. Prior to joining OCLS Guita worked at the Carleton University Library and the University of Toronto Libraries where she worked on a range of web-based projects for students and faculty.  
Guita has a PhD in the History of Art and Architecture and a Master of Information from the University of Toronto's iSchool. She combines her passion for libraries with a love of the arts, information technologies, and accessible design.
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