EBSCO Beta Partners meeting

The three institutions partnering with EBSCO as Beta partners for FOLIO implementation and support services met on March 25th-27th in the DuBois Library at  UMass / Amherst .   The Folio implementation teams  from Chalmers University in Sweden, The University of Alabama, and the Five Colleges met over the course of three days along with staff from EBSCO representing implementation services, FOLIO support, and FOLIO product owners from various functional areas.  The teams had a chance to meet each other and various EBSCO personnel in person for the first time.   They also discussed local implementation and communication plans, heard updates on the status of various modules and the overall FOLIO project from various product owners The FITs and product owners also spent significant time reviewing features and gap analysis related to FOLIO feature development.   The various FOLIO implementation teams hope this is a start of a long and fruitful collaboration on the path to implementing and using FOLIO.

The Five Colleges Record Merge Working Group Launches

On June 5, 2018, EBSCO Information Services announced that the Five Colleges agreed to be an EBSCO FOLIO Beta partner. Since that time, much has happened to steer our Five Colleges towards FOLIO implementation. A new landing page for the FOLIO project was created. There is the FOLIO Implementation Team (FIT) whose members come from all the Five Colleges. And FIT has been working hard to coordinate implementation as can be seen from the documentation and regular updates communicated through Newsletters and now the Five Colleges FOLIO News.


As we enter Phase 03 of the implementation milestones or data migration and testing, FIT has launched the Record Merge Working Group. The members of this working group are Steven Bischof, Sharon Domier, Jennifer Eustis (lead), Rebecca Henning, and Colin Van Alstine. The Record Merge Working Group (5CRMWG) is tasked with creating a recommendations document for the merge, and, has also created a charge. Members of our working group will be reaching out to you to open and continue discussions on what it means to merge records, what records should be merged or not, and any questions about the merge. Our first group discussion is scheduled for April 12, 2019 from 9:30 am – 11:00 am in the UMass W.E.B. Du Bois Library in Room 1920. We encourage people to come in person. Realizing that is not always possible, a virtual option will be available.


As we work on the recommendations document, the 5CRMWG will share updates via this blog, Five Colleges listservs, and slack (via the #5crmwg channel). We encourage the entire Five College community to participate in these discussions.

FOLIO Timeline

The FOLIO Implementation Team (FIT) has been reviewing our criteria for determining when we will go live with FOLIO. Go-live is when FOLIO becomes our system of record for all primary functions and we discontinue use of Aleph. Some of our fellow early adopters have reached their established decision point for go-live by July 2019 and the required features are not fully developed. Most have pushed back their go-live date to July 2020 in order to stay aligned with their fiscal year start.

FIT is reviewing the list of go-live features and determining a date by which those features need to be functional in advance of go-live. The goal is to choose a software release by which we would need to have functionality developed in order to go live up to 6 months later. We are currently looking to asses the software releases in  Q3 (October 2019) and Q4 (January 2020) for required functionality.  This would provide a implementation window with a go-live date in the Summer of 2020.


Five Colleges Discovery Committee User Stories Survey – Accepting stories till the end of April 2019.

The Five College Discovery Committee is gathering discovery user stories till the end of April 2019 to inform decisions regarding improvements to EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) and decisions regarding discovery systems in general in support of the move to FOLIO. Please take a few minutes to fill out our user story survey.


Discovery is searching and finding books, journals, articles, or other items in the library catalog or research databases. A discovery interface can search all of these at one time (such as EDS) or individually (such as a catalog).

A user story is a tool typically used in software development in order to build a user centered framework for system requirements. The Discovery Committee is gathering user stories to help us identify the discovery needs of our community, improve our current discovery tools, and to develop future functionality in our discovery systems. User stories are short simple descriptions of a feature told from the perspective of a user. A user story includes the type of user, what they want and why and typically follows the format:

As a < type of user >, I want < to do an activity> so that < I can reach a goal>.

For example:

As a student, I want to find a book on reserve so that I can do my assigned reading.

You can help us and the Five Colleges FOLIO project by contributing your discovery user stories!

We are looking for two types of user stories, stories about what is currently working and/or liked in your current discovery system(s) and what could be improved. You can submit either one or both each time you use the form. A user story can be that of an external user (i.e. student, faculty, or researcher) and/or an internal user (i.e. library staff). It can be a story from your own experience as a user or a story you encounter in your day to day work with your patrons. We encourage you to send as many user stories as you want–the more, the better! Please share this with any students and faculty that you work with, the more user stories from a wide perspective the more we understand discovery needs.

Your input is incredibly helpful!


If you have any questions about this survey please feel free to reach out to me or to the Discovery Committee representative from your institution.

FOLIO Sprint Review 56-57


  1. 0:00 Welcome; new team members:
    1. Anatolii Starkov on the Core Functional Team
    2. Ruslan Lavrov on Folijet
    3. Arton Agroni and Irene Chang on UX Designers.
  2. 1:37 Q1 2019 Release details
  3. 4:13 Definition of Done
  4. 8:25 Sprint Highlights
  5. 9:15 Thunderjet/Acquistions demo; acquisitions & inventory integration
  6. 20:48 Folijet demo
    1. file support functionality
    2. circulation module notice policies
    3. due date functionality
  7. 41:55 Core Functionality demo
    1. request policies
    2. print slip print defaults
    3. hold shelf expiration at service point
    4. ui-check-in
  8. 51:45 ERM sub-group demo
    1. license functionality
  9. 1:03:01 QA Update
    1. Escaped Defects
    2. Integration Testing
    3. UI Automated Testing
    4. Performance
  10. 1:22:22 Next sprints:
    1. Sprint 58 (February 25 – March 8)
    2. Sprint 59 (March 11 – March 22)
  11. 1:22:45 Plans for Coming Sprints
    1. Core Platform
    2. Core Functional
    3. Stripes Force
    4. UNAM
    5. @Cult
    6. Acquistions
    7. ERM
    8. Folijet (Data Import)
    9. Spitfire
    10. Vega

FOLIO Sprint Review 54-55



  1. 0:00 Welcome; Core Team split into two groups: Core Platform and Core Functional
  2. 1:12 Core Platform Team Force membership update
  3. 2:00 Core Functional Force membership update
  4. 2:49 Stripes Force membership update
  5. 3:07 UNAM Team membership update
  6. 3:31 Q4 Release notes
  7. 4:37 Q1 2019 Release details
  8. 5:08 Definition of Done
  9. 10:23 teams’ sprint highlights slides
  10. 11:12 Acq-Orders demo
  11. 26:52 Folijet demo; file uploads, extensions
  12. 34:45 Stripes Force demo; UI filters
  13. 38:03 Vega demo; renewal overrides
  14. 44:31 UNAM demo; patron blocks
  15. 100:52 Core Functional Team demo; status views, notes
  16. 109:45 next sprints:
    1. Sprint 56 (January 28 – February 8)
    2. Sprint 57 (February 11 – February 22)
    3. 1:10:58 Plans for Coming Sprint(s)
    4. 1:10:19 Q4 QA Update – Bug Fest Week (1/7 – 1/11), Escaped Defects, UI Automated Testing, Performance slides


Principles in Action

Additional functionality: Once core functionality is established, improvements, and additional functionality can be explored and prioritized. 

As we start to see FOLIO coming to life, it’s natural to get excited about all the cool new things we can imagine: leveraging linked data, integrating with external systems, resource sharing, and more. Our principle regarding the importance of establishing core functionality reminds us to keep our eyes on the prize. Maintaining a manageable scope to the project is key to a successful implementation for early adopters. There will be time to innovate after go-live.

First Named release

Patrick Zinn, Director of Marketing, University Libraries at Texas A&M is the creator of the Bee logo for FOLIO. If you would like to know the history of the bee for FOLIO you can read this story posted by Patrick. “To bee or…Hey there is a Bee”. In the world of nature bees must be able to find plants and flowers to both pollantate and feed from in order to survive.  In the world of FOLIO we need librarians, developers, designers, and service providers to contribute to the community and to the project so that it matures into one of those products that is globally trusted and supported. The people that are active in the FOLIO community now can say, “we were there when….” One way to ensure the bees survival in nature is to plant wildflowers and when a FOLIO group started to think about what to start naming product releases the decision came easy, wildflowers are found everywhere and are needed for a health bee community. The very first named release is called Aster. All releases from now on will be named for wildflowers in ABC order.  If you would like to know what all was included in the Aster Release please click on the release notes.

Record Merge Working Group

The first meeting of the Five College record merge working group will be later in February.  This group will establish a charge based on some previous brainstorming. Some examples of the recommendations this working group has been asked to develop are:  What is the scope of records we want to include for de-duplication?

  • What local fields from each record needs to be included in a new record?
  • What record should be used as base for a new record?
  • What criteria should be used for matching?
  • Should this work be done in conjunction with another vendor? With EBSCO? In-House?

The members of the committee are Rebecca Henning (Amherst), Colin Van Alstine (Smith),  Jennifer Eustis (UMass), Sharon Domier (Five Colleges/UMass) and Steve Bischof (FIT)