Plowing ahead

I can’t believe that it’s been 2 weeks since we announced that we were going to be transitioning to the OCLC Web Scale Management ILS, and that I haven’t blogged in the meantime. Although to be clear, the second is a direct result of the first.

We have been working like mad to make this admittedly insane timeline work. I’m pretty sure that my ILS Manager/Queen of All Data Andrea worked 100 hours that first week, moving data around and massaging it into what OCLC wanted from us for Web Scale. As the first live site, we volunteered to take upon ourselves a huge amount of the data manipulation, so Andrea has been moving MARC out of Virtua, into Access to manipulate, and then finally through an XSD to provide OCLC with the final mapped XML for all the fiddly-bits of data. We’re also dumping huge amounts of MARC directly, but for non-bib records (holdings, items, patrons, etc) we’re doing a ton of conversion.

This isn’t to say this is the way that everyone will do it…but with our somewhat aggressive schedule, we were determined to give them whatever made it easiest to make WMS happen.

I’d like to publicly thank everyone at MPOW who have really put themselves out on a big limb to help with this implementation. We’ve got three major working groups doing different parts of this massive job, and all of them are digging in and getting stuff done. I’m so, so proud of the team that I work with at UTC…serious, I couldn’t have hand-picked a better group of librarians. They freaking rock.

We’re still on track for an August 20th launch, and we’ll be rolling WorldCat Local to our patrons before the full go-live….so we’ve got just short of 3 weeks to finish this thing off. Between now and then we’ve got to finish the little troublesome data sets, get an updated patron file ready, start a marketing blitz on campus for our patrons, get a redesigned index page up for the website that highlights WorldCat Local, and kick the hell out of some really, really shiny new tires.