Inventory Working Group announces data load success!

The work of the Inventory Working Group is largely a silent affair. We spent our time in fall 2019 and spring 2020 reviewing the community MARC to FOLIO data map. This means that we look at our Five College MARC metadata and see where it aligns with the community-planned mapping profile, and where it doesn’t. We maintain our data map and specify custom solutions if we need them. In Summer 2020, we also inventoried all of the fields in our Aleph item records and completed our own custom mapping of these fields into FOLIO item records.

The other part of our work involves reviewing and troubleshooting the Inventory application each time data is loaded into our Five College FOLIO tenant. Starting earlier this fall, we began testing loads of our entire catalog. This was no easy task to get more than 7 million records out of Aleph and into FOLIO. It may have been FOLIO’s largest record load at that time! Each time we load data there is some trial and error. We see what works, we see what breaks, we see where our MARC metadata is non-compliant and we figure out what needs to be tweaked and by whom.

In November, we were able to load our first ever batch of merged bibliographic files, thanks to all of the work done by the Record Merge Working Group. We had a few bumps, we made some corrections and we tried again. Before Thanksgiving we were able to implement the FOLIO community holdings record MARC data map and our new Five College Aleph to FOLIO item record field mapping.

Today, we’ve had some big successes! We’ve re-loaded our complete catalog, which equals more than 6 million merged and non-merged records. Out of 6 million records, only 186 records failed transformation and could not be added into FOLIO. This is a huge accomplishment! It is a direct result of the work done by the Inventory Working Group. But we couldn’t have done it without the many metadata professionals at all five colleges working on numerous catalog clean-up projects over the course of the last year.

Another success is that our item records 100% mapped into FOLIO according to our specifications. This is another big feat, and is remarkable because it was our first time implementing this map. We still have to see how this data will work for us, but it is there and available for viewing, testing and feedback by all!

I want to thank the Inventory Working Group: Laura Evans (Amherst), Jen Bolmarcich (Hampshire), Emma Beck (Mt. Holyoke), Sara Colglazier (Mt. Holyoke), Colin VanAlstine (Smith), and Jaime Taylor (UMass). I’d like to send a shout out to contributor and back-burner member Michelle Paquette (Smith). Thank you to former Inventory Working Group members because your contributions definitely helped us get to where we are today: Paul Trumble (Amherst), Suzanne Karanikis (Hampshire), Jane Pickles (retired from Hampshire), Rachael Smith (Mt. Holyoke) and Mary Ann Stoddart (retired from UMass). Extra special thanks to the Record Merge Working Group, Aaron Neslin (5C), Steve Bischof (UMass) and Anya Arnold (Ebsco) for answering all of my questions. And a final special thanks to Theodor Tolstoy, our Ebsco developer, who answers questions on Zoom and Slack (sometimes at odd hours because he’s in Sweden), and who tries to make our requests happen.

So let’s celebrate this small, yet huge milestone, on our path to FOLIO! I recognize that we have done the bulk of this work remotely and in a weird and overwhelming environment, which makes it all the more poignant. I look forward to many more successes in the coming months.

Cheers to us!

Ann Kardos, Lead, Inventory Working Group

FOLIO Update September 2020

It has been awhile since we have had a general update regarding the Five College’s implementation of FOLIO.  The good news is that during these trying times of COVID-19, work has continued on FOLIO, both at the broader community level and here at the Five Colleges.   The Five Colleges now have the latest release of FOLIO installed, ‘Goldenrod’, and are currently in  production for the core modules of Electronic Resource Management (ERM).   The Five College ERM working group did an amazing job testing software and looking at data migrated from both ALEPH and Coral.   A big shout-out to the Five College ERM working group for all their work on testing and to Aaron Neslin at UMass and Alex Soto at EBSCO for all their hard work related to data conversion of agreements and organization data.  Thanks to all their efforts, the Five Colleges have now begun managing parts of our e-resources using the Agreements and Organizations modules in FOLIO.

Work continues in other areas of FOLIO also.  Other Five College working groups have been busy evaluating data conversion related to inventory, continuing to work circulation rules and procedures, and working on acquisitions procedures and order data conversion.  Stay tuned for more information on these areas in the near future.

Additionally the FOLIO community at large is making a shift in the production release cycle.   FOLIO has been releasing a new version 4 times a year, which allowed for rapid deployment of new features.   However the FOLIO community will be moving to 3 major releases per year; March, July and November.  This will have some affect on our details of our schedule but it is something we need to evaluate in relation to new features we are waiting for and when they will be released.

Welcome to the start of the new academic year and stay safe.

Five Colleges ERM Go-Live!

Hello Five Colleges!

I am excited to announce that we have officially gone live in the electronic resource management suite in FOLIO!!!! This has been a huge effort from members of the Five Colleges staff and has taken the better part of two years, but as of Tuesday August 25th we officially entered production and became the first consortium to adopt FOLIO as a single tenant environment. But what exactly does Going-Live mean? It isn’t as simple as throwing a switch. Tons of work has been going on in the background to ensure that the moving parts of CORAL, Aleph, the EBSCO Admin, dozens of spreadsheets, and FOLIO itself aligned this summer for a successful migration.

Way back in May 2019 my working group, FERM (FOLIO Electronic Resource Management), began meeting to discuss how we would implement a shared ERM system. Three of the Five Colleges currently use CORAL for this purpose, and we all use Aleph to track acquisitions and cataloging of electronic resources. At the time, we were all using SFX as a link resolver and managing EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) in the EBSCO Admin. Add to that list systems like OCLC for cataloging, EBSCONet for serials, eBook purchasing platforms, EZProxy servers, and many, many emails we were trying to manage individual resources sometimes in 5 or more places! The purpose of FOLIO is to cut that number way down. Having a single place to go to for information on a resources license, order history, discoverability, and lifecycle will allow us to work more effectively at our institutions and doing it in a shared environment will allow us to work more collaboratively across the Five Colleges.

When we decided in October 2019 to switch up our timeline and adopt the ERM suite first, FERM began a months long process to define systems settings, discuss workflows and shared experiences, articulate what existing data should or should not be migrated, set up permissions, and advocate for our needs in the FOLIO community. Now, in August 2020 we have reached a point where our work is beginning to pay off. I want to take a moment to thank all of those involved in both FIT and FERM who made it possible for us to shift gears and in under a year complete an implementation that we expected to happen after we left Aleph. Without their hard work none of this would have been possible.

But now that we’re live, what happens next? The short answer is: everything. We will continue to be partners in an open source community for as long as we use FOLIO, and have the opportunity to watch it mature and ensure that it can meet our needs. We will continue to attend special interest groups (SIGs) and act as subject matter experts for the development teams so that FOLIO can evolve to meet the challenges we can’t yet see. We will continue to work together here at the 5C to make the shared environment of FOLIO a success and to find ways to support each other in the ERM world. And of course, we still need to migrate Aleph.
Thank you to everyone involved in the FOLIO project here at the 5C. Here’s to more successful Go-Lives in the future!

-Jack Mulvaney

On behalf of FERM

FERM & FOLIO: What does it all mean?

Hello Five Colleges!

If you’re looking for a better understanding of the electronic resource management apps in FOLIO, then look no further! Owen Stephens, a UK developer who acts as product owner for the Agreement and License Apps has developed a glossary for the two apps with explanations what each field is expected to be used for as well as default settings and reference values. Please note, the FOLIO Electronic Resources Management (FERM) Working Group has customized our settings and reference data so the values in the spreadsheets below may not reflect what appears in the 5C tenant settings. Owen has put out several spreadsheets which are linked below:

Agreements App Field Glossary
Agreements App Default Values

Licenses App Field Glossary
Licenses App Default Values

FERM will be working over the next several weeks to stress test our customized values and will submit changes to the hosting team at EBSCO. We expect much of what is currently in the Daisy settings to migrate into Edelweiss. Once we’ve finalized our settings and reference data we will be creating local versions of the above spreadsheets as well as some best practices for working in the FOLIO ERM apps. If you have questions on a field, see something you think might be missing, or just want to learn more – please reach out to your local FERM member or to me ( and we can try and get you an answer.

FERM meets twice a month to discuss FOLIO ERM as well as our mutual Full Text Finder (FTF) migrations. If you’d like us to consider something for discussion please send it to your local FERM rep.

Folio Timeline Update January 2020

As mentioned in previous post the Five College libraries are adjusting our  FOLIO implementation timeline based on the pace of software development in the FOLIO community and local considerations.  The bottom line is that we will be implementing a suite of features in FOLIO related to the management of e-resources during the summer of 2020.  The goal for entire suite of FOLIO apps will be summer of 2021.

For more information you can watch a presentation on the Five College Folio Timeline or if you would to have a copy of the slides from the presentation it is available here.

Please let me or any member of the Folio Implementation Team (FIT) know if you have any questions.

Happy Holidays from the 5C Record Merge Working Group

The 5C Record Merge would like to provide a short snapshot of our activities for the year. Our working group began in February 2019 with the goal to draft a recommendations document for June 2019. During this period, we had 3 open houses to talk about the meaning of shared bibliographic records for 5C. Based on these discussions and the working group’s research, we finalized our document that was approved by FIT.

We are now in our second goal of this project, to merge specific bibliographic records in preparation for our migration to FOLIO with the help of Backstage Library Works. In a smaller open house, we revisited with the community the type of bibliographic records to be included in the merge. We used collection codes from Aleph to include only those bibliographic records that are general, or, those that don’t include special notes or languages (archival or rare books), on the fly or brief records (equipment), or those not suited because of how they are processed or managed (bound-withs, batch loaded resources, etc.). We are now doing small sample tests to refine the deduping process with Backstage Library works based on our tests and documenting the results. To help with this process, we will be considering the MARC fields from bibliographic records in our 5C Tag Treatment Document.

Stay tuned for more updates and open houses next year.

5C RMWG: Steve Bischof (UMass/5C), Sharon Domier (UMass), Laura Evans (Amherst), Jennifer Eustis (UMass), Rebecca Henning (Amherst), Colin Van Alstine (Smith)

FERM & FAWG Joint Meetings Report

FOLIO Implementation Consultant, Anya Arnold, was visiting this week with many groups at the Five Colleges. Several decisions were made which will impact our FOLIO use going forward. The first of these is the decision to go forward with implementation in June/July with licenses/agreements for continuing electronic resources including the orders accompanying those new resources. This means that e-journals and e-journal packages, ebook packages, and databases will be implemented this summer using the FOLIO modules of Organizations, Agreements, Licenses, and Orders.

Another decision made jointly by FAWG (FOLIO Acquisitions Working Group) and FERM (FOLIO Electronic Resource Management) is that we will always use the same two-letter institutional codes to denote the individual schools in the Five Colleges. These codes will be in CAPS followed by a space in most FOLIO modules. In the Acquisitions module, the prefix will be the two-letter code (no space) followed by numbers. The codes used will be the same ones we are currently using in FOLIO: AC-Amherst, HC-Hampshire, MH-Mt Holyoke, UM-UMass, SC-Smith. We anticipate that this can be used in apps that will not be brought up this summer and are working with members of the other working groups to make sure this method will be used globally in FOLIO.

Please reach out to a member of FAWG, FERM or FIT (FOLIO Implementation Team) if you have any questions about these recent decisions or other general FOLIO concerns/comments. We would love to hear from you!

Sprint Review 74-75

  • 0:00 – Introduction, Q3.2 hotfixes, Q4 (Edelweiss) Release Plan, Highlights
    • UNAM – whole team needed to move onto another project, replaced by Israel Durán Martínez, Isela García Bravo, and Arturo Rendón Crux (almost full FTE)
    • Oleksandr Vidinieiev and Cheryl Malmborg joined Vega
    • 2 will continue to get hotfixes until one month after Q4 release (January 2020)
    • Q4 (Edelweiss) deadlines haven’t changed – development by 12/4, release by 12/20
  • 9:10 – Thunderjet (Acq): Dennis Bridges, Andrei Shumski, Mikita Siadykh
    • Opening PO setting – “Save and Open Order”
    • 13:18 – Receiving items with open requests
  • 16:10 – Spitfire: Maksym Dryha
    • Requests with fulfillment preferences (pickup and delivery)
  • 23:15 – Folijet: Ann-Marie Breaux, Vlad Velytskyi, Masha Aloshyna, Igor Gorchakov
    • empty field values in Inventory and other UI fixes
    • 27:10 – HRID page in Inventory settings, searching in logs
    • 32:11 – Pubsub module
  • 37:55 – Concorde: Dmytro Popov, Sergiy Sergiyenko, Viktor Soroka
    • Loan history backend and frontend validation
    • 45:50 – circ rules editor improved searching for location, new user permissions
  • 53:10 – Vega: Kostyantyn Khodarev
    • Patron loans and notifications on checkout
  • 58:30 – Stripes-force: Rasmus Wølk, John Coburn
    • New component called MessageBanner for displaying notes to users
    • UI-Users routing refactor (one of the oldest modules with lots of code styles – much more responsive post-refactor and much easier to develop with and to test)
  • 1:12:48 – Core Functional: Matt Connolly, Michal Kuklis
    • Updates to search and filter in inventory, screen layout changes, placeholders for preceding and succeeding titles
    • 1:18:29 – UI updates in requests – reorder queue and prevent requests from inactive users
  • 1:23:03 – QA Update: Anton Emelianov
    • Still in a negative bug trend (opening more than are closed)
    • Better descriptions in test cases for future bugfests

Sprint Review 72-73

  • 0:00 – Introduction, Q3.2 Recap, Q4 (Edelweiss) Release Plan, Highlights
    • Vladyslav (Vlad) Velytskyi new to Folijet
    • Svitlana Zmiivska and Anna Melnyk new to Vega
    • Q3.2 delayed a few days due to bugs – more hotfixes in Daisy, with more critical fixes being deployed continually through to January 2020
    • Q4 (Edelweiss) development deadline by 12/4, for release by 12/20
  • 9:10 – Spitfire: Yurii Danylenko
    • Request fulfillment – slip settings and forms with variables
  • 14:45 – Thunderjet: Aliaksei Chumakou, Andrei Shumski
    • Mapping normalized ISBNs from Inventory to Product ID field in a PO Line
  • 20:30 – Finance – allocating and transferring money between funds
  • 27:10 – Vega: Oleksandr Antonenko
    • Permissions – search and sort
  • 29:26 – Folijet: Taras Tkachenko, Igor Gorchakov
    • Match Profiles and Action Profiles
  • 33:52 – Data Import rules – allow users to make changes with CLI
  • 38:10 – Concorde: Volodymyr Rohach, Yevhenii Maltsev
    • Users: Anonymizing Fines/Fees
    • Circulation Rules editor – locations searchable in a menu that shows child locations and drops in the full path
  • 43:45 – Core Functional: Matt Connolly, Cate Boerema
    • Inventory enhancements – default collapsing and searching in sidebar
  • 47:04 – Loan rule settings – examples of rolling and fixed schedule policies
  •  54:25 – Closing

Bibliographic Record Merge -Update

You might have read that there is a shift in the FOLIO implementation timeline. In light of this decision, the working group has an amended timeline. 

BSLW Testing: Ongoing 2019-2020:  Work on BSLW sample sets, deciphering reports, and collection codes

 Open House for BSLW Reports: Mid-late February 2020:  Provide an open house on deciphering BSLW reports and updates 

 Deduplication Profile: May 2020:   Work on deduplication profile

 Open House on Deduplication Profile: June 2020:  Share deduplication profile with community

 Refine Deduplication profile & retest: August 2020:   Based on feedback from open house, make any modifications to profile

 Full test with test FOLIO & test EDS: September – December 2020:  Complete full test with refined/tested deduplication profile and community input

Please note that all dates are tentative and subject to change. For feedback, you can reach the working group on its Slack channel #5crmwg, via email, phone, or in person.