The latest news from your partners at OCLS
JUNE 2021
Collaborative Library Systems Platform (CLSP) Project Update
By Marnie Seal, Cambrian, and Cynthia Mckeich, Humber, Committee Co-Chairs
The Collaborative Library Systems Platform (CLSP) project has reached a major milestone: the selection of a vendor. After a long and extremely thorough RFP process, with the input from a cast of thousands (okay, we might be exaggerating a little) the CLSP Adjudication Committee (Katherine Marceau, Jess Bugorski, David Luinstra, Marnie Seal and Cynthia Mckeich) are pleased to announce that Ex Libris (a Proquest Company) was the highest scoring proponent, and contract negotiations are underway. Ex Libris’ next generation software is called ALMA, and the 18 CLSP participating college libraries will be moving forward with implementation. Two college libraries already use ALMA (Loyalist and Seneca) and two additional college libraries (Canadore and Durham) use ALMA through their university partnerships and the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL). This brings the total number of college libraries using the ALMA system to 22 (although it should be noted that Canadore and Durham will be in a different “network zone” than the other 18 CLSP libraries).

Implementation will be another intensive undertaking for the 18 college libraries and OCLS. It will pull resources, energy, and capacity and involve staff at every level, including staff and resources from outside the library (IT departments in particular). An Implementation Steering Committee (ISC), co-chaired by Jess Bugorski and David Luinstra, has already kicked off. The ISC will be forming sub-committees that address particular areas of the implementation, such as metadata and cataloguing, discovery and user experience, and acquisitions, content management and electronic resource management.

Finally, and perhaps the most exciting news, through the efforts of OCLS and the CLSP Steering Committee, the project has received full funding to cover the costs of implementation and first year software licensing. It is cause for celebration and we are very grateful to have received this level of support for this important college sector project.
RA Hybrid Model Set to Go Live June 15th
By Stacey Boileau, IT Systems and Services Coordinator, OCLS
OCLS has been working hard over the past 5 months with OCLC to ensure a smooth transition to a new Remote Access (RA) hybrid model. The project team worked diligently to ensure infrastructure was stable and up to date, embarked on a campaign to update vendors on the new IPs, and took on internal developments to fully capitalize on opportunities presented by OCLC.

In the new model, OCLS will continue to provide front line support, such as resource set up and testing, maintain aspects of the service that are specific to RA, as well as liaising and managing our vendor relationship with OCLC. What changes is that OCLC will take on the hosting and maintenance of the production EZproxy servers for each college and provide additional support for EZproxy and single sign-on (SSO).

We are already seeing some benefits of this new hybrid, such as:

  • Each college server has been upgraded to the latest version of EZproxy (7.1.14) which boasts improved security.
  • Due to this collaboration, OCLC has exposed over 80 working database stanzas built by OCLS on their website for use by the EZproxy community.
  • Lastly, colleges interested in institutional single sign-on will be able to implement with relative ease in the new model. Four colleges have already come forward and are planning SSO implementations in the coming months.

We are very confident the new model will keep the RA service in good standing for the future. We thank the colleges for their continued support and patience while we embarked on this project.
LEAP Celebrates First Anniversary
By Joy Muller, Seneca College, Committee Chair, and Rebecca LaFrance, OCLS
March 31, 2021, marked the end of the Library eResources Accessibility Portal (LEAP) pilot year. During the first year of operations, staff from the Ontario college libraries assessed 47 electronic resources for accessibility across four modules: interface appearance, interface navigation, interface structure, and content. The results of these assessments can be used to help make acquisition decisions, support library users, and advocate for accessible eresources. LEAP’s collaborative structure allows library staff to view assessment reports completed by staff across the college library system, resulting in an estimated average cost savings of over $25,000 per college!

After a fantastic pilot year, LEAP shows no signs of slowing down. The LEAP leadership team has been hard at work exploring how the service can be improved using lessons learned during the pilot year. The first annual LEAP survey was conducted in April and the results will be analyzed by the LEAP Assessment & Metrics Working Group and incorporated into a report on the first year of service, to be released this fall. The LEAP Steering Committee has also formed a Quality Assurance Subcommittee to evaluate the pilot year results and develop suggestions for QA processes.

Work on the LEAP project began in 2015, and completion of the pilot would not have been possible without the support of CLO, the LEAP Steering Committee, and the contributions of the dozens of college library staff who participated in working groups, creating assessments, and championing the LEAP service.

For more information about LEAP, visit the LEAP page on the OCLS website. Completed assessments are available to view on the LEAP portal.
Adapting to Change Under the Pandemic
By Michelle Ng, eResources Services and Support Associate, OCLS
In the 2020/2021 fiscal year, the eResources team at OCLS was able to keep price changes for 517 subscriptions under a 1% increase thanks to the combined efforts of OCLS and the international community of consortia. This includes renewal price decreases and represents almost 50% of the subscriptions handled in 2020-21. With the eResources team's support in negotiating down renewal increases, colleges were able to stretch their budgets further in a difficult financial year to meet the changing needs of users in the rapid pivot to online learning. The eRes team handled 110 upgrades and new subscriptions combined, compared to just 61 cancellations, some of which were made specifically to allow an upgrade or new subscription.
Update on the Annual CLO Statistical Survey
By Rosanne Renzetti, Ideative Consulting
On May 25, 2021, the CLO Annual Statistical Survey opened for data entry. To accommodate summer holidays and any other staff limitations, we have extended the deadline until October 1, 2021. The survey collects data for the fiscal year April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, and focuses on four core areas:

  • Section A - Use, Facilities and Services
  • Section B - Collections
  • Section C - Expenditures
  • Section D - People

Each year, one of three sets of additional questions (i.e. one of either Copyright, Technology, or Facilities) is asked as part of the annual survey. This year's module will be on Copyright. Additionally, due to the extraordinary challenges of the pandemic, the Metrics & Assessment Commmittee has decided to include a new module: Library Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The collection and reporting of data will be managed on behalf of CLO by OCLS with the help of Rosanne Renzetti of Ideative Consulting. Rosanne will be the direct contact for any questions about the survey, and you can reach her at

For anyone that missed the training webinarsthat were held in May, a recording is also available at:
Indigenizing the Catalogue
By Patricia Buckley, Sheridan College, Subcommittee Chair, and Stacey Boileau, OCLS
How can college libraries address the negative bias against Indigenous Peoples within our catalogues?
Inspired by the calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Committee Report created by the Canadian Federation of Libraries Associations (CFLA), College Libraries Ontario (CLO) initiated the Decolonizing College Library Catalogues Subcommittee to provide support for colleges in addressing the structural bias present in Library of Congress Subject Headings. The subcommittee members’ goal is to understand how college libraries can collectively and sustainably work to decolonize the user experience across college catalogues and begin to strike a path forward. The subcommittee, comprising college library and OCLS staff, reports to the CLO Indigenous Matters Committee, which is providing support and outreach to ensure Indigenous peoples are heard and included in this work.

What have we been doing since our December 2020 inception?
Like all good library staff, we started our work with research. We reached out to selected Canadian libraries to gain insight and learn from other academic and public library implementations. We attended a CFLA Red Team meeting to learn about recent Library and Archives subject heading work. Currently we are creating a survey to be circulated to colleges not represented on the subcommittee. This survey will help to identify libraries that have implemented or are working on implementing solutions, as well as to gain a broader understanding of the challenges this work poses across the consortia.

What is next?
We will look at the resources and tools currently being used and evaluate the advantages as well as some of the gaps that exist, along with possible solutions for cross college implementation. Once we have gathered and analyzed this information, we will present a series of recommendations to CLO leadership to review for next steps.
Staff Profile: Michelle Ng
Michelle will, as of this June, have been at OCLS for two years! You might know her from emails about renewals, ConCan offers, database issues, and other fun eResource matters. Recently, Michelle added on the role of CORe service lead. Now deep in the guts of Islandora getting to grips with all things CORe, Michelle will be applying the same level of service delivery from their work with eResources to this service. Fun facts: Michelle read Archaeology at undergrad, plays a Halfling rogue whose wolf friend is named after Meriadoc Brandybuck (but in Westron), and loves the Miette meme.